From Wikipedia: Goland
The Golan Heights or Golan is a plateau on the border of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and
The name "Golan" refers both to the historical name of a geographic region, and, in contemporary usage, to territory captured by Israel from Syria in the Six-Day War (the captured territory also includes parts of Mount Hermon, which is a different geographic region than Golan Heights).
Syria asserts the Heights are within the governorate of al Qunaytirah.
View from Mt. Bental towards Mount Hermon.
The Golan Heights were under military administration between 1967 and 1981. In that year, Israel passed the Golan Heights
Law, placing the Golan Heights under civilian Israeli law, administration, and jurisdiction. Most non-Jewish residents of the Golan Heights, mainly Druze, refused to surrender Syrian citizenship, though Israeli citizenship was available to
In 2005 the Golan Heights had a population of approximately 38,900, including approximately 19,300 Druze, 16,500 Jews, and 2,100
Muslims. Jewish villages, including moshavim and kibbutzim, are consolidated municipally under the Golan Regional Council, and are inhabited by Israeli citizens. The Golan Muslims reside in the Israel-Lebanon border-straddling village of Ghajar. They accepted Israeli citizenship in
1981. The Druze reside in the villages of Ein Qinya, Buq'ata, Majdal Shams, and Mas'ada. Most are involved in farm
Both personal and business relations exist between the Druze and their Jewish neighbors. As a humanitarian gesture, since 2005, Israel allows Druze farmers to export some 11,000 tons of apples to Syria each year, the first kind of trade ever made between Syria and Israel. Since 1988, Israel has allowed Druze clerics to make annual religious pilgrimages to
Syria insists on the return of the Golan Heights as part of any peace deal. In late 2003, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he was ready to revive peace talks with Israel.
In Israel, the principle of returning the territory in return for peace is already established. During US-brokered peace talks in 1999-2000 the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered to return most of the Golan to Syria according to the Baker Institute, Rice
University, USA. The disagreement in the final stages of the talks was on a mere strip of land 10 metres wide.
The main sticking point was Syrian insistence on Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 border (which was not the international border, but merely the 1949 armistice line). This would give Damascus control of the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee - Israel's main sources of fresh
Israel wishes to retain control of the Sea of Galilee and says the border is located ten metres to the east of the shore.