Old bunkers in Golan Heights
Image by Staselnik
Israel is planning a multi-million dollar settlement expansion in the Golan Heights, which it seized militarily from Syria a half-century ago. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett unveiled the controversial plan on Sunday, which further involves a stated goal of doubling the number of Jewish settlers there within five years, according to Reuters.
The preliminary plan has been approved by Bennett’s cabinet to see some 7,300 housing units built in Israel’s main settlement in the Golan, called Katzrin, as well as in surrounding smaller communities. Recall that this comes after the prior Trump administration for the first time issued formal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian border region.
Reuters emphasizes that “Prime Minister Naftali Bennett cited then-U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition in 2019 of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan and no sign that his successor, Joe Biden, intends to reverse the decision, as factors behind a multimillion-dollar housing and infrastructure plan for the area.” So it will be interesting to see if this fresh bold plan will be met with objections from the Biden White House – though surely some corners of Europe are expected to condemn the move…
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