TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the first steps towards building “Trump Heights” on Sunday, coinciding with the 74th birthday of the American president for whom the Golan Heights town is named.
“Today, we will begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.
Members of the cabinet voted in favor of the town’s initial budget of NIS 8 million ($2.3 million).
Netanyahu also expressed his thanks to Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their decision to sanction the International Criminal Court.
“The court in the Hague is a political body that is hostile toward Israel, the US and other democracies that respect human rights even as it ignores other countries that violate human rights, especially – of course – the terrorist regime in Iran,” the prime minister said.
“The court invents absurd accusations against the State of Israel, including the scandalous claim that the presence of Jews in the heart of our homeland constitutes a war crime. This contravenes common sense, it contravenes international law since the San Remo Conference 100 years ago and it contravenes justice” he went on, referring to the event in which the Allied nations declared their support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
“I thank President Trump and the American administration again for their stand on the side of truth and justice,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu’s announcement comes exactly one year after he inaugurated “Trump Heights“ in recognition of the U.S. president’s formal recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
At that ceremony, Netanyahu said that Trump‘s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and his support in the fight against a nuclearized Iran proved him to be a “true friend” of Israel.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
Trump’s March 2019 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights came in the wake of what he said were “aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, in southern Syria [that made] the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel.”