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Israeli Settlement Gets New Name That Trump Will Love

'It's absolutely beautiful,' says the US ambassador
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 16, 2019 4:00 PM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes his Cabinet with United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump on Sunday, June...   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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(Newser) – The Trump name graces apartment towers, hotels and golf courses. Now it is the namesake of a tiny Israeli settlement in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights, the AP reports. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet convened in this hamlet Sunday to inaugurate a settlement named after President Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the US leader's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory. The settlement isn't exactly new. Currently known as Bruchim, it is over 30 years old and has a population of 10 people. Israel is hoping the rebranded "Ramat Trump," Hebrew for "Trump Heights," will encourage a wave of residents to vastly expand it. "It's absolutely beautiful," says US Ambassador David Friedman, who attended Sunday's ceremony.

Noting that Trump celebrated his birthday on Friday, he said: "I can't think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present." Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in 1981. Most of the international community considers the move illegal under international law. But during a visit to Washington by Netanyahu in March, just weeks before Israeli elections, Trump signed an executive order recognizing the strategic mountainous plateau as Israeli territory. The decision, the latest in a series of diplomatic moves benefiting Israel, was widely applauded in Israel. But developing Ramat Trump will not be easy: Ringed by high yellow grass and land mines, it is roughly 12 miles from the Syrian border and a half hour's drive from the nearest Israeli town.

(Read more Israel stories.)

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