Israeli cabinet to vote on Golan 'Trump' settlement

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Israel's cabinet will meet in the Golan Heights on Sunday to honour US President Donald Trump and vote on naming a settlement there after him, the prime minister's office announced.

Trump in March broke with decades of international consensus and recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, a strategic area seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war and later annexed.

His decision was heralded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who promised to name a new settlement after Trump.

"The cabinet will meet on the Golan Heights this Sunday to thank President Trump for having recognised Israeli sovereignty of the Golan," the prime minister's office said Thursday.

The ministers will vote on whether to support naming a settlement after Trump and, if approved, will subsequently vote on its precise name.

According to Israeli media, the settlement is set to built in the northern Golan and dubbed "Trump Heights".

Israel's 1981 annexation of 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan has never been recognised by the international community.

Around 18,000 Syrians from the Druze sect -- most of whom refuse to take Israeli citizenship -- remain in the occupied Golan.

Some 20,000 Israeli settlers live there in over 33 settlements.

Trump also sparked outrage across the Arab and Muslim worlds in December 2017, when he recognise the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Israel insists the whole of Jerusalem is its "eternal, indivisible capital". The Palestinians demand the city's eastern sector as the capital of their long-promised state.