‘Trump Heights’: The newest Israeli-approved illegal settlements in occupied Golan Heights

The Golan Heights is Syrian territory occupied by Israel following the 1967 war. Israeli settlement activities inside the occupied territories are in complete violation of international laws

June 15, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Israel announces Trump Heights in Golan Heights
Map showing the occupied Golan Heights. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Israel’s minister for settlements, Tzipi Hotovely, announced on June 14, Sunday that the government has approved the construction of a ‘Trump Heights’ (Ramat Trump in Hebrew) settlement in the occupied Golan Heights. Netanyahu had first announced the building of Trump Heights in June, 2019. 

According to the announcement made on Sunday on social media, the proposed “Trump Heights” will house 300 Israeli settler families, replacing the existing Bruchim settlement which houses nearly a dozen illegal settlers, according to the Times of Israel.  

Israel captured Golan Heights from Syria in the June 1967 war with the Arab countries. Going against the Geneva convention of 1949 and the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolution 242, Israel illegally annexed the territory in 1981. No country had recognized the Israeli annexation of Golan Heights until Trump signed the executive order recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the territory in March, 2019. The order was signed during a visit by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US, just before the Israeli elections in April. 

Recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights was one of the several pro-Israeli moves by the Donald Trump administration. The US under Trump has reversed is long-term policy and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, claimed by Palestinians as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Trump also proposed a plan in January, according to which, Israel will get 30% of the occupied West Bank land in return of an “independent Palestinian state”. All these moves have been widely criticized by the Palestinians and the international community. 

Similar to the Palestinian occupied territories, Israel has built several illegal settlements inside the occupied Golan Heights. According to the Times of Israel, around 26,000 illegal Israelis are illegally living in different parts of the Golan Heights, currently.     

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