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Netanyahu dedicates new settlement to US President



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony to reveal a sign to a new society named after US President Donald Trump in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights on June 16, 2019. REUTERS / Ammar Awad

Ammar Awad | Reuters

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent President Donald Trump a sign of his gratitude to support Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights in the form of a "new society" in the disputed territory named after the American leader.

] The settlement ̵

1; known as "Trump Heights" – sits within the Golan Heights, which for many decades was occupied by Israel, but was not seen as Israeli territory by the United States until March when Trump officially recognized Israel's annexation of the region [19659002] American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attended a festive meeting on Sunday, where the new city was inaugurated by the Israeli government according to Netanyahu's official Twitter account.

"It is a great recognition of the President's courageous decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Friedman said. The Ambassador also referred to the naming ceremony as a "birthday present" to Trump, who was 73 on Friday.

A large sign emblazoned in gold letters with the name of the community, written in English and Hebrew under the national flags of the United States and Israel was also revealed at the ceremony.

"Thank you PM and the State of Israel for this great honor!" Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Trump and Netanyahu have forged a close band and have regularly promised praise on each other's leadership. At the Sunday event, Netanyahu again celebrated Trump's support for policies that benefited Israel's agenda, including leaving the Iran nuclear block from Obama and moving an American embassy to Jerusalem.

Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, and had passed a law applying its government to the 1981 area – a step that was against the great international community at that time.

Trump's full approval of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights came in the middle of Netanyahu's re-election bid he won. After his election for a record fifth time, Netanyahu said he would push to name a new area in the Golan Heights after Trump.

Trump's action was rejected by other Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.


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