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Israel’s Bennett strives to increase Jewish population in Golan Heights

Trying to appeal to his right-wing electoral base, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett advances plans for increased Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights.
A picture taken on April 23, 2019, shows a general view of the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Some two months ago, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took part in a conference devoted to the development of the Golan Heights and organized by Makor Rishon, a newspaper identified with the ideological right and the settlement movement. The widely covered event was held in Haspin (also known as Hispin), a largely religious community in the southern Golan, in the presence of several other members of Bennett’s “government of change.”

“The Golan Heights is a strategic goal. Doubling the communities in it is a goal of the government of Israel,” Bennett declared to the sound of applause. Bennett said he would start out with a realistic goal of establishing two new communities, bettering employment opportunities and increasing infrastructure investment on the Golan. “The government is providing the required resources for the implementation of this concept and we are now working toward it,” he told the crowd. “This is the commitment of the government I lead, and we will abide by it. When the government sees out its term, I want us to look back and say, ‘Done.’”

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