The government voted in favor of an unprecedented investment plan in the Golan to double the Israeli population there, Bennett said in a statement.
At the end of a Council of Ministers held exceptionally in the Golan Heights, the government gave its approval to this plan, the cost of which will amount to one billion shekels (approximately 406 million Canadian dollars).
According to the plan, 7,300 housing units will be built over the next five years in existing settlements, along with two new settlements, Assif and Matar, housing 6,000 homes. This should add a total of 23,000 Israeli residents to the current population of the Golan.
About 25,000 Israeli settlers now live in the Golan Heights alongside some 23,000 Druze, who claim to be mostly Syrians while having the status of residents in Israel.
The plan also includes investments in infrastructure, medical and education systems, as well as aid for farmers and industry.
A popular holiday destination for Israelis, the Golan Heights are home to many attractions, which will be supported by the authorities, who want to strengthen this region.
” The need to strengthen, develop and inhabit this region is common to us. “
Conquered in 1967, annexed in 1981
The Golan Heights, conquered by Israel from Syria during the 1967 war, was annexed on December 14, 1981. It constitutes a strategic territory for the two countries, which are still technically at war.
Rich in water, it overlooks the Galilee and Lake Tiberias on the side controlled by Israel, and the road to Damascus on the Syrian side.
In March 2019, former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order officially recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a decision at odds with the US position for decades.
Syria then denounced a
flagrant violation to its sovereignty.
It goes without saying that the Golan Heights are IsraeliMr. Bennett said on Sunday, pointing out
the importance of
the recognition of Mr. Trump and the fact that the administration of Joe Biden has clarified that there is no change in this policy.
Last February, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Golan Heights were
very important for the security of Israel, but that
legality issues [étaient] of another order.
In June 2019, a new settlement was inaugurated on the annexed part of the Golan Heights, called
Ramat trump – the
trump hill in Hebrew – in honor of Donald Trump.