Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman officially dedicated a community in the Golan Heights named after President Trump.
The new community will be called “Ramat Trump” -- Hebrew for “Trump Heights.”
Currently known as Bruchim (welcome), the community was founded in 1991 but only has a population of 10. Israel hopes the new name will encourage a new wave of residents.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, his wife Sara, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, left, his wife Tammy pose during the inauguration of a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in the Golan Heights
Netanyahu held a special cabinet meeting and ceremony on the Golan Heights in the presence of Friedman.
“President Trump is a very great friend of our country, a leader who did things that had not been done before and had to be done for justice and truth,” Netanyahu said at the unveiling ceremony.
“But before everything else, there is a realization of the Zionist vision at its best, the building of the Land of Israel is the foundation of our national life, and the Golan, I will say it again, listen to it well, the Golan was and will be an inseparable part of our land and our country. The Golan is Israeli,” Netanyahu said.
The ceremony follows the decision by Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau along Israel’s northern border with Syria.
"Whoever has visited the Golan Heights and received the tours, especially the tours from the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) but almost any tour, causes you to know immediately, without, any, requiring any great insider wisdom that this is incredibly important territory for the State of Israel,” Friedman said.
“Few things are more important to the security of the state of Israel than permanent sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It is simply obvious, it is indisputable. It's beyond any reasonable debate,” Friedman added.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981. No country recognized it until President Trump.
“I think it’s a dramatic statement. It’s unbelievable,” said Kobi Marom, a former IDF commander in northern Israel. He currently lives on the Golan Heights.
“It’s not a symbolic thing. It’s a significant declaration because it came from the strongest and most important Israeli allies, the United States, President Trump,” Marom told CBN News.
Another Golan resident Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz told CBN News the declaration doesn’t change his daily life but it’s going to have a big payoff.
“It was a brilliant move and I think it’s bringing us closer to peace than anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Berkowitz, a journalist for Breaking Israel News.
About 50,000 people currently live on the Golan – half Israeli Jews and half Druze.
Marom said the biggest challenge for the Israeli government now will be to bring Israelis to live on the Golan Heights.
“We have to bring a hundred thousand Israelis to the Golan Heights in the next 10 years. That’s the challenge,” Marom said. “I think a lot of young families would love to live in this beautiful area. They need jobs, they need infrastructure. They need help.”
And they hope Ramat Trump will be just the beginning.