Israel names new Golan Heights community after Donald Trump

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U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (L), his wife Tammy Deborah Sand, Sara Netanyahu and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on hand Sunday for the unveiling of Trump Heights, the name of a new, yet-to-be-built community in the disputed Golan Heights. Photo courtesy of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman/Twitter

June 17 (UPI) — Israel announced that it has named a new community in the disputed Golan Heights after President Donald Trump for his recognition of Israeli rule over the area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Ramat Trump, or Trump Heights, during an unveiling ceremony Sunday for the new, yet-to-be-built community.

“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said during the ceremony. “We are about to approve construction of a new town in the Golan, something that hasn’t happened in quite a long time … and we’ll be honoring a great friend of Israel, President Donald Trump.”

Trump took to Twitter to thank the Israeli prime minister and Israel for “this great honor.”

Netanyahu proposed the idea to name a community after Trump in April, two weeks after he won re-election as prime minister, while touring the area.

The idea of naming a community after Trump was in appreciation of his administration overturning decades of U.S. policy by signing in March a controversial proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed area.

The declaration was met with staunch opposition from the European Union and the United Nations. The disputed stretch of land between Syria and Israel was taken by Israel during 1967’s Six-Day War. In 1981, Israel extended its rule over the area by passing the Golan Heights Law, which the U.N. Security Council condemned.

Trump said the United State’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty of Golan Heights “was a long time in the making” and should have occurred decades ago.

He also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017 while moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv to the ire of much of the Arab world.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attended the unveiling ceremony of the Trump Heights sign along with members of Israel’s cabinet.

“A great day on the Golan,” Friedman said on Twitter. “PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate ‘Trump Heights’ – first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman.”

During the ceremony, Netanyahu also addressed for the first time Thursday’s attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the United States has blamed Iran for, Haaretz reported.

“As for Iran’s aggression in the Gulf of Oman, all peace-loving countries should support the United States and President Trump’s efforts to end this dangerous aggression and promise freedom of movement in international waters,” he said.

Iran has denied the allegations.

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