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A Brief History of the Golan Heights, Claimed by Israel and Syria

With a midday tweet on Thursday, President Trump voiced his support of Israeli control over the Golan Heights, reversing decades of American policy.

The move thrust the Golan Heights — a fertile plateau beside the Sea of Galilee that has been one of Israel’s quieter frontiers for a half-century — back into international headlines.

The area covers under 500 square miles and offers expansive views over Syria and Israel, giving it strategic military importance. It was seized by Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967, and since then, it has been claimed by both countries.

The Six-Day War of June 1967 ended in decisive victories for Israel, which seized the Golan Heights from Syria. Syrian forces began a failed attempt to reclaim the territory in 1973. That war ended with an armistice that left most of the Golan Heights in Israeli hands. In 1981, Israel passed a law that effectively annexed it.

Read entire article at NY Times