【Xinhua】Israel approves 2 new settlements, development plan in occupied Golan Heights

2021-12-27 11:15:46 ciwa

Source: Xinhua 27-Dec-2021

Original link: https://english.news.cn/20211227/86db9d2b09af472983b232baa216cb26/c.html


Israeli soldiers take part in a drill in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Oct. 26, 2021. (Photo by Ayal Margolin/JINI via Xinhua)

JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Israel announced on Sunday a multi-million-dollar plan to develop the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, including the establishment of two new settlements.

In a special cabinet meeting held in the Golan, the ministers approved a plan to strengthen the Israeli settlements in the originally-Syrian territory, according to a statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office.


An Israeli soldier stands guard at the Quneitra crossing between Syria's Quneitra and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on March 1, 2021. (Ayal Margolin/JINI via Xinhua)

Under the plan, two new settlements, Asif and Matar, will be established in the disputed territory, each with about 2,000 new housing units.

The ministers also decided to allocate 576 million shekels (about 183 million U.S. dollars) to build 7,300 new housing units over the next five years in the town of Katzrin and the Golan Regional Council, according to the office.

The goal of the investment is to double the number of residents in Katzrin, and "significantly increase" the number of residents in the small communities of the Golan Regional Council, it added.

Some 322 million shekels will be invested in improving transportation, education, health and other infrastructures, in addition to developing tourism, research and development centers, and small businesses.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in the 1980s, but the international community has never recognized the move.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump announced in March 2019 that he recognizes Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

On Nov. 5, 2020, the UN General Assembly confirmed Syria's sovereignty over the Golan Heights occupied by Israel since the battle in June 1967.