Israel’s prime minister has renamed a settlement after his favourite world leader: Donald Trump.
The 30-year-old settlement in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights is currently known as Beruchim and has a population of 10 people, mostly elderly immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
It is around 12 miles from the border with Syria and surrounded by land mines and high yellow grass.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has agreed in principle to rename the community Ramat Trump (Hebrew for Trump Heights), hoping this will encourage more Israelis to move there.
The move is also to thank the US president for his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory in March.
In a ceremony on Sunday, Mr Netanyahu said Mr Trump was a “great friend” of Israel and that the Golan Heights is an “inseparable part of our country and homeland”.
The ceremony was also attended by US Ambassador David Friedman, who said: “Few things are more important to the security of the state of Israel than permanent sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“It is simply obvious, it is indisputable and beyond any reasonable debate.”
Two days after Mr Trump’s 73rd birthday, Mr Friedman said: “I can’t think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present.”
A huge sign was unveiled with the settlement’s new name in gold, with US and Israeli flags.
Mr Trump tweeted afterwards that the renaming was a “great honour” and residents of the settlement were also pleased.
Vladimir Belotserkovsky, 75, said: “We certainly thank, and I personally, am satisfied by the fact that they’re founding the new settlement named for Trump.”
Rosa Zhernakov, a resident since 1991, said she hoped a bigger settlement would give “more security” from any possible return of the land to Syria.
Opposition politician Zvi Hauser described the ceremony as a cheap PR stunt, adding: “Whoever reads the small print on the ‘historic’ resolution understands that it is a dummy-resolution.”
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and annexed it in 1981, a move most countries consider illegal.
Almost 50,000 people live in the Golan Heights, roughly half of them Jewish Israelis and half of them Arab Druze.
It is several hours from the economic centre of Tel Aviv and attracts little business besides some tourism and agriculture.
Syria wants the area back but, while it deals with conflict within its own borders, talks are unlikely.