News World Israel names Golan settlement after Donald Trump
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Israel names Golan settlement after Donald Trump

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Sunday's naming ceremony at Trump Heights. Photo: Getty
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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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet convened in the hamlet on Sunday to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald 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.

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,” said US Ambassador David Friedman, who attended Sunday’s ceremony.

Noting that Mr Trump celebrated his birthday on Friday, Mr Friedman added, “I can’t think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present”.

Mr Trump himself chimed in shortly after, describing the re-naming as “a great honour”.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day 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 Mr Netanyahu in March, just weeks before Israeli elections, Mr Trump signed an executive order recognising the strategic mountainous plateau as Israeli territory.

The decision, the latest in a series of diplomatic moves benefiting Israel, was widely applauded in Israel.

-with AAP