Golan Heights

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Golan Heights,

strategic upland region (2003 est. pop. 10,500), c.500 sq mi (1,250 sq km), SW Syria. It borders S Lebanon, NE Israel, and NW Jordan. It takes its name from the ancient city of GolanGolan
, in the Bible, refuge city, located in the tribal territory of Manasseh E of the Jordan; it was also a levitical city. Golan gives its name to the rocky plateau known as the Golan Heights.
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 and was known as Gaulanitis in New Testament times. It is a rocky plateau overlooking Israel where elevations range from c.6,500 ft (2,000 m) in the north to below sea level along the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) and the Yarmuk River in the south. The Golan Heights were fortified and used for artillery attacks on Israel after 1948. The region was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967 (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
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) and formally annexed by Israel in 1981, an act that was not recognized internationally. A number of Israeli settlements have been established in the area; the region has become an important source of water for Israel. Ultimate control of the Golan Heights has been a stumbling block to Israeli-Syrian peace talks.
References in periodicals archive ?
IDF forces patrol near the Golan Heights (AFP/FILE)
IDF spokesperson Ronen Manelis said in a statement that the IDF would stand by the Druze population in the Golan Heights.
Israel's actions on the Golan Heights are subject to international humanitarian law.
During the first Cabinet meeting held in the territory in April, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the Golan Heights will remain permanently under his country's control.
During the Israeli regime's first cabinet meeting in the occupied territory earlier this month, Netanyahu claimed that the Golan Heights will remain in the hands of Israel forever, and demanded that the international community recognize Syria Golan as Israeli territory.
The statement was issued in response to comments made last week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, during a cabinet meeting in a Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights, said that the region has been "an integral part of the land of Israel since ancient times" and would remain so.
The statement was seen as a message to the world powers that the Golan Heights will not be a bargaining chip in any agreements made regarding the Syrian war.
Indeed, in 2008, Israel and Syria held talks, brokered by Turkey, when by all accounts then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert agreed to cede the Golan Heights to Syria's control while President Bashar Al Assad revealed that the two sides were in "touching distance" of clinching a deal.
The politicians donned protective clothing in the Golan Heights, which has become more challenging in recent years due to the ongoing Syrian civil war.
In the Israeli air strike on a Hezbollah convoy near the Golan Heights on Jan 18, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general, Mohammed Allahdadi, was killed along with a Hezbollah commander and the son of the group's late military leader, Imad Moughniyeh.
A military source announced on Sunday night that an Israeli unmanned Skylark-1 model drone had been shot down in Quneitra province, close to the village of Hader" near the Golan Heights, the official Sana news agency said.
More than a hundred Fijian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights will be deployed to Lebanon in the near future.