Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
President Donald Trump L and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu display the proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 25, 2019.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh off an election victory that will see him lead the country for a fifth term, said Tuesday he plans to push for a “new community” in the disputed Golan Heights to be named after President Donald Trump.
“All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said in a video posted to YouTube. “Therefore, after the Passover holiday, I intend to bring to the government a resolution calling for a new community on the Golan Heights named after President Donald J. Trump.”
Trump announced in a March 25 presidential proclamation that the United States recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed. The move marked a dramatic change in policy that helped Netanyahu win reelection.
After the president’s proclamation, the European Union’s 28 member states unanimously declared that they still did not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed territory, citing United Nations Security Council resolutions forbidding the acquisition of territory through the use of force.
Al-Marsad, a Golan Heights-based human rights group, has denounced U.S. recognition of Israeli control, declaring after Trump’s announcement that it would legitimize “illegal aggression and occupation.”
“Syrians in the occupied Golan face calculated Israeli efforts to restrict their building and land use, destroy their enterprises, cleanse their Arab culture, manipulate their Syrian identity, and suffocate their freedom of movement,” the group wrote at the time.