Illegal Israeli settlement in the village of Bukata, Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria. Photo/AP
GOLAN – The Golan Heights have a very strong connection with the Arab-Israeli conflict in the past. During the Six Day War, this region even became one of the most contested strategic places.
There are many reasons why the Golan Heights are contested by many parties. One of the most important things is related to its very strategic location.
Furthermore, what exactly is the Golan Heights?
Getting to know the Golan Heights
The Golan Heights is a rocky region in southwest Syria. The location is around 60 kilometers southwest of Damascus with an area of approximately 1,000 square km.
Quoting the DW page, the Golan Heights is a very strategic location. When on the plateau, you will be presented with views stretching to the Sea of Galilee to the north of Israel towards Lebanon and Syria.
Initially, the Golan Heights were in Syrian territory. When they joined a coalition of Arab states opposing Israel’s establishment, the region was used as a base to launch attacks.
However, things changed when the Six Day War occurred in 1967. Israel, who won the battle, succeeded in capturing the Golan Heights from Syria.
After that, the area was under the control of Israeli troops. Some Syrians living in the area were also forced to flee or were expelled.
In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Syria tried to retake the Golan Heights. However, they and the coalition of Arab countries were again defeated.
The war ended with Israel’s victory. Afterwards, Syria and Israel signed a ceasefire with the deployment of UN observer troops at the designated peace line.