The Golan Heights, a rocky plateau in south-western Syria, has a political and strategic significance which belies its size.
Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981. The move was not recognised internationally, although the US Trump Administration did so unilaterally in March 2019.There are more than 30 Jewish settlements on the heights, with an estimated 20,000 settlers. There are some 20,000 Syrians in the area, most of them members of the Druze sect.
- Proximity to Syria
- Natural buffer against any military thrust from Syria.
- Key source of water for an arid region. The area provides a third of Israel’s water supply.
- The land is fertile, and the volcanic soil is used to cultivate vineyards and orchards and raise cattle. The Golan is also home to Israel’s only ski resort.
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