Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday in his opening remarks to the weekly government cabinet meeting that a site has been chosen on the Golan Heights for the new town to be named for President Donald Trump.
This week marks the one-year anniversary since the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Netanyahu noted, adding that the official residence of the US Ambassador is also moving to Jerusalem; thus, in effect, the Congressional decision years ago to move the embassy and the ambassador’s residence to the Israeli capital, he said, will be implemented.
“We very much appreciate this historic decision by President Trump, just as we very much appreciate his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.
“I promised that we would establish a community named after President Trump. I would like to inform you that we have already selected a site on the Golan Heights where this new community will be established, and we have started the process,” he announced. “I will submit a decision for official approval by the new government once it is formed.”
The community is expected to include some 120 secular and observant Jewish families and will be located in the northern Golan Heights on a site where a previous settlement was approved in 1992 but in the end was not established, according to a report last week in Makor Rishon.
Netanyahu also said that he would request from President Reuven Rivlin a 14-day extension for the process of forming a government coalition. The first, 28-day deadline for the formation of a coalition comes up this Wednesday and it seems clear the prime minister will require the extension in order to get the job done.
“Such an extension is not only acceptable, it is also necessary in view of the constraints of the calendar this time of year – the intermediate days of Pesach, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Remembrance Day, Independence Day and the security events around the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said.