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GK of the Day: Golan Heights

GK of the Day: Golan Heights

US President Donald Trump has said the United States should acknowledge Israeli sovereignty over the hotly-contested Golan Heights. There was also quick approval from the senior Republican in the US Senate.

US called the Golan - a strategic area seized from Syria and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

What are the Golan Heights?

Golan Heights is a hilly area overlooking the upper Jordan River valley on the west.

Geographically, the Golan is bounded by the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee on the west, Mount Hermon on the north, the seasonal Wadi Al-Ruqqād (a north-south branch of the Yarmūk River) on the east, and the Yarmūk River on the south.

The region is located about 60 km south-west of the Syrian capital, Damascus, and covers about 1,200 sq km (400 sq miles).

Political View

Israel occupied the Golan Heights, West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War (Middle East war). Israel seized most of the Golan from Syria during war.

The two countries agreed a disengagement plan the following year that involved the creation of a 70km-long (44-mile) demilitarised zone patrolled by a United Nations observer force. But they remained technically in a state of war.

In 1981, Israel's parliament passed legislation applying Israeli "law, jurisdiction, and administration" to the Golan, in effect annexing the territory. But the UN Security Council did not recognise the move and maintained that the Golan was occupied Syrian territory.

There are more than 30 Israeli settlements in the Golan, which are home to an estimated 20,000 people.

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