Israel approves 'Trump Heights' settlement

Israel approves 'Trump Heights' settlement

Israel began preparations for a new settlement in the Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump, following Israeli government approval on Sunday.

"We will start today with practical steps to construct Ramat Trump in the Golan Heights," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Ramat Trump in Hebrew translates as Trump Heights in English, Deutsche Welle reported.

Under the plans, approved by the government on Sunday, 8 million shekels ($2.3 million) have been earmarked for developing Qela, reported Reuters, citing Israeli media.

Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights over the years, with an estimated 26,000 Jewish settlers living there as of 2019. Roughly the same number of Arabs live there, most of them members of the Druze sect of Shiite Islam.

Trump's recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel followed the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, which sparked anger across the Muslim world.