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"Our goal is to double, and double again, the number of residents in the Golan Heights," Bennet said, adding that the Israeli government was planning to establish two new communities, create more jobs and facilitate more investment in infrastructure.

The prime minister touched upon the situation in Syria, which has been engulfed by conflict for years, but remarked that Israel saw Golan Heights as its territory regardless of the events in the neighboring country.

Israel initially captured the area in a 1967 war and annexed it in 1981. However, the United Nations Security Council considers the Golan as part of Syria.

The US administration under Donald Trump issued a presidential directive recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the territory in 2019, but the move was criticized by the European Union, Russia, and numerous other countries.

The region includes the western two-thirds of the geological Golan Heights and the Israeli-occupied part of Mount Hermon.

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