Tue, 26 Oct 2021

JERUSALEM, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that he plans to establish two new settlements in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights.

"The goal of the Israeli government is to double the communities in the Golan Heights and establish two new settlements," Bennett said during a conference in the Golan, a region internationally recognized as Syrian territory.

He said he met with heads of regional councils of the Golan Heights and local business people earlier in the day.

"I told them what I reiterate here: The Golan Heights is a strategic goal," said Bennett, also the leader of the pro-settler Yamina party.

According to the Israeli prime minister, the ministers are expected to approve a national plan for the Golan Heights at a later cabinet meeting.

"Our goal is to double, and double again, the number of residents in the Golan Heights," he said, adding the government also plans to grow the number of available jobs and investments in infrastructure.

Israel captured the Golan Heights, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 war. In 1981, Israel annexed the territory in a move never recognized by most of the international community.

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