Archive for the ‘Golan Heights’ Category

See the view from the strategic Golan Heights – CNN Video

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See the view from the strategic Golan Heights – CNN Video

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May 30, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Syria and Israel exchange artillery fire over Golan Heights

ISRAEL hit some 50 military targets in Syria after Iranian rockets fired towards its forces sparked a sharp escalation between the long-term enemies.

The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trumps decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated.

It was one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and its biggest such raid against Iranian targets.

Israeli news service Haaretz reports a military source as saying this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974.

THINGS GET OUT OF CONTROL

In an interview with Greek media shortly before the attacks, Syrian President Assad said he was concerned recent strikes by Israel, Britain, France and the United States could lead to a serious escalation.

I hope we dont see any direct conflict between the great powers, for this is where things get out of control, he said.

(But) there is no worry of a 3rd World War starting in Syria, thanks to the wisdom of the Russian leadership.

Russian state media is reporting that Israel informed Moscow of its intentions ahead of the air and missile strikes today. Israel carried out the raids this morning in what it says was a response to about 20 rockets fired at its forces at around midnight in the occupied Golan Heights from Syria.

It blamed the rocket fire on Irans Al-Quds force, adding that Israels antimissile system intercepted four of them while the rest did not land in its territory.

No Israelis were wounded.

We know that comes from the al-Quds force, a defence spokesman said, referring to the special forces unit affiliated with Irans Revolutionary Guard.

The Israeli army takes very seriously this Iranian attack against Israel.

Later in the early morning hours, explosions could be heard in Damascus while live images were broadcast on television showing projectiles above the Syrian capital and several missiles destroyed by Syrian anti-aircraft systems.

Syrian state media reported that Israeli missile strikes hit military bases, as well as an arms depot and military radar, without specifying the location.

Israels military has since stated it attacked intelligence sites, logistic headquarters, military compounds, and weapons storage sites for Iranian forces inside the al-Kuswa and International Damascus Airports, along with an Iranian military base north of Damascus.

NOT LOOKING TO ESCALATE

The official SANA news agency stated that dozens of missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft systems in Syrian airspace, saying a number of missiles had reached their targets.

Israels military later confirmed it had carried out the raids, saying dozens of Iranian military targets had been struck and all its aircraft had returned safely.

Lt Colonel Jonathan Conricus said intelligence, logistics, storage and vehicles as well as the origin of the rockets were targeted.

Syrian air defences that fired on Israeli forces were also targeted, he said. There had been no comment from Iranian officials.

We are not looking to escalate the situation, Conricus said, but warned Israel would respond forcefully if attacked.

Israel has been warning for weeks that it will not accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria, where Tehran is supporting President Bashar al-Assads regime in the civil war.

Israel has been blamed for a series of recent strikes inside Syria that have killed Iranians, though it did not acknowledged those raids.

Israel had been preparing itself for weeks for possible Iranian retaliation. Trumps withdrawal from the nuclear deal has added to tensions and led to a new level of uncertainty over how Iran will respond.

ISRAEL STRIKES IRANIAN DEPOT

The artillery exchange follows a suspected Israeli air strike inside Syria near Damascus yesterday.

Eight Iranians were among 15 foreign pro-regime fighters killed when a weapons depot of Irans elite Revolutionary Guards was hit.

The raid struck the area of Kisweh south of Damascus late on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Syrias official news agency SANA said the army had intercepted two Israeli missiles fired towards Kisweh, with state television broadcasting images of fires in the nearby area.

The death toll of the missile strike has risen to 15 pro-regime fighters eight from Irans Revolutionary Guards and others not of Syrian nationality, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The monitor previously reported nine pro-regime combatants had died in the raid, without specifying their nationality.

SANA quoted a medical source saying that two civilians had died on a highway linking Damascus with the southern city of Deraa as a result of an explosion linked to the Israeli aggression.

It is not the first time that Kisweh has been targeted. In December, Israel reportedly bombed military positions in the area south of Damascus, including a weapons depot.

Since the start of Syrias civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement backing it inside the country.

On April 29, missile strikes probably Israeli fired on regime military positions killed at least 26 mostly Iranian fighters, according to the Observatory.

On April 9, missiles targeted the T-4 air base in the central province of Homs, killing up to 14 fighters, including seven Iranians, two days after an alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime.

Damascus accused Israel of carrying out the strike.

Israel and Syria are still officially in a state of war, though the armistice line on the sector of the Golan Heights which the Jewish state seized from its Arab neighbour in 1967 was largely quiet for decades until the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.

In an interview late last month, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to strike at any attempt by Iran to establish a military foothold in Syria.

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Syria and Israel exchange artillery fire over Golan Heights

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Golan Heights: Scene of new turmoil between Syria, Israel …

The Israeli military says it has attacked dozens of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the long-contested Golan Heights.

Here are some facts about the area and why it matters today:

The Golan Heights is a plateau at the southwestern corner of Syria overlooking the Sea of Galilee and northern Israel, roughly 40 miles (65 kilometers) long and 15 miles (25 kilometers) wide. Militarily, it is strategic high ground, with broad views of both Israel and Syria below.

Syria shelled northern Israel from the Golan Heights between 1948 and 1967. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it in 1981, but the world still considers it occupied.

In 1974, Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire and a disengagement and U.N. peacekeepers deployed to the area. After the Syrian civil war, the peacekeepers left the area for several months after dozens of them were taken hostages by Syrian rebels. In 2016, the peacekeeping force returned with 1,100 troops currently deployed in the area.

Israel and Syria held peace talks starting in 1991 and even appeared close to a deal in 2000. Disagreement over the fate of the Golan Heights foiled the talks.

Syria fought in three wars against Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and battled Israel when it invaded Lebanon in 1982. Israel also acknowledged this year it carried out a 2007 airstrike in eastern Syria targeting an unfinished nuclear reactor built by North Korea. Syria and Israel have never made peace.

During Syria’s civil war, Israel has carried out more than 100 airstrikes in Syria, targeting suspected weapons shipments by Iran to the Lebanese Hezbollah group. As the war now looks to be winding down, Israel has stepped up its tempo of strikes against Iran, viewing any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria as a threat.

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Golan Heights: Scene of new turmoil between Syria, Israel …

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Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria, Israelis …

In remarks broadcast earlier this week, Mr. Netanyahu said the Revolutionary Guards had moved advanced weapons to Syria, including ground-to-ground missiles and Iranian antiaircraft batteries that would threaten air force jets.

Analysts say that any new conflict between Israel and Iran could mobilize Irans network of proxies from Syria and Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant movement is based, for a multiple-front attack on northern Israel. Iran is building what Israeli and American officials refer to as a corridor from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.

Iran refers to the alignment as the axis of resistance, and its defenders say it needs the ability to strike Israel to deter what Iran sees as an Israeli threat. Mr. Netanyahu has previously advocated military strikes on Iran to destroy its nuclear program.

Israel has long accused Iran of carrying out attacks on Israeli targets outside of Israel. The most notorious was the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed at least 85 people and wounded hundreds, regarded as the worst terrorist attack in Argentina.

The Israelis also have accused Irans leaders of complicity in attacks targeting Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia in 2012. And they have accused Iran of involvement, through the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, of attacking a bus full of Israeli vacationers in Bulgaria in 2013.

Iran, which considers Israel an illegitimate country, has called Israels accusations specious and has blamed Israeli operatives for attacks inside Iran, notably the assassinations of five nuclear scientists, mostly by car bombs.

In interviews on Israeli television on Wednesday night, Israels defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, tried to dispel fears of all-out war.

The Israeli security establishment, he said, was operating responsibly and no one is looking for an escalation or war. But, he said, whatever needs to be done in order to defend the citizens of Israel, we will do.

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Israel and Iran trade fire in most direct confrontation …

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CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.”,”descriptionText”:”Iran’s intelligence ministry says so-called “provocateurs” will be targeted if anti-government protesters return to the streets. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.”},{“title”:”Protesters angry over economy, corruption”,”duration”:”01:47″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2018/01/01/iran-tehran-protests-roberston-lklv.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2018/01/01/iran-tehran-protests-roberston-lklv.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/171230172246-04-iranian-student-protests-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2018/01/01/iran-tehran-protests-roberston-lklv.cnn/video/playlists/iran-in-the-news/”,”description”:”Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is warning protesters that violence won’t be tolerated after massive anti-government protests turned deadly over the weekend. CNN’s Nic Robertson reports. “,”descriptionText”:”Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is warning protesters that violence won’t be tolerated after massive anti-government protests turned deadly over the weekend. 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Nikki Haley presented what she called “concrete evidence” of Iran’s weapons proliferation and called on the international community to join “a united front in resisting this global threat.””,”descriptionText”:”US Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley presented what she called “concrete evidence” of Iran’s weapons proliferation and called on the international community to join “a united front in resisting this global threat.””},{“title”:”Moment Iran-Iraq earthquake struck”,”duration”:”01:08″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2017/11/13/iraq-iran-border-deadly-earthquake-sdg-lon-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2017/11/13/iraq-iran-border-deadly-earthquake-sdg-lon-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/171113092250-03-iraq-iran-earthquake-1113-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2017/11/13/iraq-iran-border-deadly-earthquake-sdg-lon-orig.cnn/video/playlists/iran-in-the-news/”,”description”:”Hundreds of people are dead and thousands are injured after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq.”,”descriptionText”:”Hundreds of people are dead and thousands are injured after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-65vyfz’,”,”js-video_source-featured-65vyfz”,true,true,’iran-in-the-news’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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Israel and Iran trade fire in most direct confrontation …

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Fence dividing Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria …

As the war in Syria rages on, villagers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are watching on helplessly, as their friends and relatives are caught in the conflict.

Members of the Druze religious group are separated by a border fence.

Salman Fahkr El-Deen can see the fence from his balcony. Sometimes the war comes so close, he can feel it.

“At home here, the windows are shaking from the noise of the guns, and the fighting on the Syrian side,” he said.

The fence divides the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria. It runs across the valley, only metres from some of the houses.

But, it has also cut through families. Many residents of the village have loved ones living on the other side. They feel great pain for the civilians caught in the fighting.

“It’s more than feeling. Because the closest village here is full of our relatives, and our friends,” Mr El-Deen said.

“It was in the eye of the storm. All the neighbouring villages here on both sides, are our neighbours.”

He has lived in the Golan Heights, his whole life.

“The Golan Heights are like the Mona Lisa. Beautiful, but sad,” he said.

“War is changing boundaries everywhere. This is the idea of war. This is the diplomacy of fire.

“This is what makes me very anxious, concerned about the future, that the regime is considering to divide Syria.”

Israel captured the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967, and has continued to occupy and administer the territory.

Most of the residents of the village of Majdal Shams are members of the Druze ethnic minority. Some have formally taken up Israeli citizenship, some have refused, others still regard themselves as Syrian.

The Druze are primarily in Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. They have a strong sense of kinship, which crosses borders, nationalities and fences.

Even though they live on the Israeli side, some of the residents regard themselves as proudly Syrian. Some fiercely oppose President Bashar al-Assad, others support him.

Hasan Abu Wesam runs a small store near the main square, selling nuts and sweets. The Syrian flag flies above his shop and the television is tuned in to a Syrian news channel.

“President Bashar al-Assad is a democrat. Everyone says this is not true and he is a dictator, but this is wrong,” Mr Wesam said.

“He is defending his country, and fighting for his people, he is refusing to have Syria divided.”

On April 14, the United States, Britain and France launched missile strikes on three locations in Damascus and Homs, in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian military in the city of Douma on April 7.

“When I heard the news of the strike on Syria, the next morning I felt bad, it was very shocking, I felt like we been hit by a lightning strike, we felt like we’d been hit here, in this village,” Mr Wesam said.

“We were so disgusted, people gathered on the streets talking about the aggression, they were dispirited, wanted to know more, what happened, what damage it caused, what were the results. People were very sad, it was bad news to us.”

But some of the younger residents of Majdal Shams do not want to get involved in politics, they just want peace.

Afeef Shofi, 25, works in his family’s earthmoving business in summer. In winter, he works as a ski instructor in the Golan Heights and Europe. He sees a big generation gap between young and old in the local Druze community.

“Actually, there is. The older generation always focuses on the bigger picture. It focuses on what happened in the Golan Heights, what happened in the year of the occupation, what’s happening in Syria,” he said.

“But the younger generation are more focused on the people, on what’s happening right now in Syria, all the bombing, everything that is happening in Syria, we focus on it more than them.”

The fence has become part of daily life here. It cuts across the valley where the Druze once freely travelled.

“Actually we got used to it. It’s not normal for everyone. All the visitors who come here, the first thing they see is the fence. And it’s a big fence, not a small one,” Ms Shofi said.

“We live on this side, we live our life, like an ordinary life. But most of the time we think about what’s happening on the other side and what will happen.”

Some of the residents of Majdal Shams send donations to stricken family members on the other side. The war is so close, but so far away.

“This thing hurts us the most, because all of the families here have relatives there, brothers, sisters, uncles, all of the family members,” Mr Shofi said.

“We try to keep in touch as we can with them, to see if they are OK, what is happening. We try to help, by supporting them, we can’t do much here. On this side here we can’t do much to help them.”

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Fence dividing Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria …

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Netanyahu: Golan Heights will ‘Forever’ Remain Under Israeli …

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses actors of the economic sector during a lunch as part of the 54th Munich Security Conference, on Feb. 16, 2018 in Munich. Global security chiefs and top diplomats attend the annual Munich Security Conference running until Feb. 18, 2018 to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other international conflicts and crises.(Sven Hoppe / DPA / AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday declared that the occupied Golan Heights would forever remain under Israeli control.

At a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of a major security conference in Munich, Netanyahu declared that the Golan Heights would remain in Israels hands forever.

The Syrian Golan Heights has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

Netanyahu also said Israel would not allow Iran to establish military bases in Syria — a scenario, he said, that Israel would take action to prevent.

The prime ministers assertions come amid mounting tension in the region.

Last Saturday, Israel claimed to have downed an Iranian drone over its territory. Shortly afterward, an Israeli F-16 was shot down over Syria.

The two countries, the statement also said, agree to intensify their cooperation to bring about this result within the framework of established parameters, namely U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva process.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

While U.N. officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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Netanyahu: Golan Heights will ‘Forever’ Remain Under Israeli …

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The world wants to take the Golan Heights

Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

World governments have their sites on the Golan Heights in northern Israel as they seek a diplomatic solution to remove Syrian President Assad. They are trying to negotiate a deal that would give the Israeli portion of the Golan Heights to Syria. Turkey, the US, the UN, and the EU are all onboard.

According to Jeremiah 49:23-27 Turkey is the obvious candidate that will conquer Syria and destroy Damascus. Turkish President Erdogan wants to remove Assad from Damascus and then install a Muslim Brotherhood ruler over Syria.

The Bible compares the Antichrist to the ancient Assyrian kings because he will do the same things that the Assyrian kings did. The Assyrian kings conquered Syria and then invaded northern Israel. Turkish President Erdogan is ready to do both of these things.

Turkish President Erdogan is the Antichrist. Even before the Turkish Army had entered Syria he already had intentions to take the Golan Heights. This Turkish lead invasion into northern Israel is described in Ezekiel chapter 38. It is known as the battle of Gog and Magog. Turkey will lead Iran, Libya, and Sudan into Israel. All of these nations are already fighting in Syria and Iran has already fired missiles into the Golan Heights. Every nation that is mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38 is already involved in the Syrian war. God will cause these armies to retreat from Israel using torrential rain, disease, and God will cause these armies to fight against one another.

The world has declared its desire to take the Golan Heights from Israel. Israel has already defended the Golan Heights against Iran (Hezbollah as well as the Iranian Army) and Libya (The Free Syrian Army, also known as the moderate rebels). Turkey will conquer Syria, destroy Damascus, and then lead the forces that are fighting in Syria today into the Golan Heights.

Today there is increased fighting on the Golan Heights. Iran and Hezbollah are fighting Libyan Al-Qaeda rebels (AKA the Free Syrian Army). The Syrian Army is preparing a major offensive.

Ezekiel chapter 38 describes Turkey as it leads Libya, Iran, and Sudan into Israel.

The handwriting is on the wall. Christians and Jews should recognize the events of our day. It is High Time to Awake.

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The world wants to take the Golan Heights

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January 30, 2018   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

The Golan Heights, Israel | Israel Tour

The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights, more simply the Golan, is Israels most northeastern region. Geographically, the Heights are bordered on the west by a rock cliff that drops 1,700 feet to the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River; on the south by the Yarmouk River; on the north by the international border with Lebanon; and on the east by a largely flat plain that stretches into Syria. The Golan Heights themselves are between 400 and 1,700 feet high.

Geologically, the Golan Heights are a plateau and part of a volcanic field that extends northeast almost to Damascus. The entire area is scattered with inactive volcanic cones. Mount Hermon is in the most northern point of Golan Heights but is geologically separate from the volcanic field.

HistoryIn biblical times, the Golan Heights was referred to as Bashan; the word Golan apparently derives from the biblical city of Golan in Bashan (Deuteronomy 4:43, Joshua 21:27). The area was assigned to the tribe of Manasheh, although the tribe of Dan is also associated with the Golan.

In the First Temple Period (953-586 BCE), the area was contested between the northern Jewish Kingdom of Israel and the Aramean Kingdom, based in Damascus. In the late 6th 5th centuries BCE the region was settled by returning Jewish exiles from Babylonia.

The Golan Heights, along with the rest of the region, came under the control of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and his successors, the Greeks. In the mid 2nd century BCE, Judah Maccabee and his brothers came to the aid of the local Jewish communities when these areas came under attack by their non-Jewish neighbors. Judahs grandnephew, the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannai, later added the Heights to his kingdom. In those days, the Golans chief city was Gamla. The Jews of Gamla joined their brothers in the Great Revolt against Rome in the 1st century CE, but the revolt failed and the city fell into Roman hands in 67 CE.

The Jewish presence on the Golan Heights was renewed in 1886-1887, when Jews from Tzfat purchased lands in the Golan, and in 1891, when Baron Rothschild purchased approximately 18,000 acres of land there. New Jewish immigrants to Israel established five small communities on these lands, but in 1898 the Turks forced them to leave. Almost 50 years later, in 1947, the lands were seized by the Syrian army.

Although most of the Golan Heights were included within Mandatory Palestine when the Mandate was formally granted in 1922, Britain relinquished the area to France in the Franco-British Agreement in 1923. The Heights became part of Syria upon the termination of the French Mandate in 1944.

After the 1948-1949 War of Independence, the Syrians built extensive fortifications on the Heights, from where they shelled civilian targets in Israel and launched terrorist attacks. Over 140 Israelis were killed and many more were injured in these attacks between 1949 and 1967; heavy property damage was also inflicted.

During the 1967 Six Day War, in response to Syrian attacks, the IDF captured the Golan Heights in just over 24 hours of intense fighting. Nearly all of the Golans Arab inhabitants fled as a result of the war; four Druze villages remain, three on the slopes of Mt. Hermon and one in the northern Golan.

Almost immediately after the war, Israel renewed the Jewish presence on the Golan. KibbutzMerom Golan was founded in July 1967, at the initiative of kibbutzim in the nearby Upper Galilee and Hula Valley. By 1970, there were 12 Jewish communities on the Golan.

On Yom Kippur of 1973, Syrian forces attacked across the 1967 cease-fire line and advanced into the central Golan, almost reaching the edge of the cliff, before being pushed back beyond the 1967 line by the main Israeli counterattack. Israel and Syria signed a Separation of Forces Agreement in May 1974; this agreement remains in force.

The Golan Heights TodayApproximately 18,000 Jews live on the Golan today. They reside in kibbutzim and other agricultural settlements and in the town of Katzrin. Whereas most of the communities form the Golan Heights Regional Council, Katzrin has its own mayor and local council.

Around 17,000 Druze also live in the Golan. The Druze community in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious entity with its own courts, which have jurisdiction in matters of personal status, and spiritual leadership. Their culture is Arab and their language Arabic, but they opted against mainstream Arab nationalism in 1948 and have since served in the IDF and the Border Police. The community has a special standing among the countrys minority groups, and members of the community have attained high-level positions in political, public, and military spheres.

EconomyThe economy of the Golan Heights is based on both agriculture and industry, including tourism. In the Golan there are 5,000 acres of cultivated agricultural land, of which 4,000 acres are used for fruit orchards. Other crops growing on the Golan include subtropical plantations, wine grapes, various vegetables, and berry fruits. A further 100,000 acres of land are designated for natural pasture for 20,000 heads of cattle and sheep, for both meat and dairy production. The Golans dairy cattle produce approximately 60 million liters of milk per year.

There are approximately 30 industrial enterprises on the Golan, mostly based in the Katzrin Industrial Zone. Some of the better-known industries are the Golan Heights Winery, and Mei Eden, one of Israels biggest mineral water distribution companies.

There is a substantial tourist infrastructure on the Golan, including the Mt. Hermon ski slopes, archaeological sites, hotels, restaurants, guesthouse facilities in many communities, and three Societies for the Protection of Nature Field schools. There are also facilities for jeep and bicycle tours, as well as horseback riding.

For more information, please fill out our online contact form or call 1.800.2.ISRAEL (1.800.247.7235).

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January 25, 2018   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

See the view from the strategic Golan Heights – CNN Video

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May 30, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Syria and Israel exchange artillery fire over Golan Heights

ISRAEL hit some 50 military targets in Syria after Iranian rockets fired towards its forces sparked a sharp escalation between the long-term enemies. The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trumps decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated. It was one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and its biggest such raid against Iranian targets. Israeli news service Haaretz reports a military source as saying this attack was the largest carried out by Israel since it signed on a disengagement agreement with Syria in May 1974. THINGS GET OUT OF CONTROL In an interview with Greek media shortly before the attacks, Syrian President Assad said he was concerned recent strikes by Israel, Britain, France and the United States could lead to a serious escalation. I hope we dont see any direct conflict between the great powers, for this is where things get out of control, he said. (But) there is no worry of a 3rd World War starting in Syria, thanks to the wisdom of the Russian leadership. Russian state media is reporting that Israel informed Moscow of its intentions ahead of the air and missile strikes today. Israel carried out the raids this morning in what it says was a response to about 20 rockets fired at its forces at around midnight in the occupied Golan Heights from Syria. It blamed the rocket fire on Irans Al-Quds force, adding that Israels antimissile system intercepted four of them while the rest did not land in its territory. No Israelis were wounded. We know that comes from the al-Quds force, a defence spokesman said, referring to the special forces unit affiliated with Irans Revolutionary Guard. The Israeli army takes very seriously this Iranian attack against Israel. Later in the early morning hours, explosions could be heard in Damascus while live images were broadcast on television showing projectiles above the Syrian capital and several missiles destroyed by Syrian anti-aircraft systems. Syrian state media reported that Israeli missile strikes hit military bases, as well as an arms depot and military radar, without specifying the location. Israels military has since stated it attacked intelligence sites, logistic headquarters, military compounds, and weapons storage sites for Iranian forces inside the al-Kuswa and International Damascus Airports, along with an Iranian military base north of Damascus. NOT LOOKING TO ESCALATE The official SANA news agency stated that dozens of missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft systems in Syrian airspace, saying a number of missiles had reached their targets. Israels military later confirmed it had carried out the raids, saying dozens of Iranian military targets had been struck and all its aircraft had returned safely. Lt Colonel Jonathan Conricus said intelligence, logistics, storage and vehicles as well as the origin of the rockets were targeted. Syrian air defences that fired on Israeli forces were also targeted, he said. There had been no comment from Iranian officials. We are not looking to escalate the situation, Conricus said, but warned Israel would respond forcefully if attacked. Israel has been warning for weeks that it will not accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria, where Tehran is supporting President Bashar al-Assads regime in the civil war. Israel has been blamed for a series of recent strikes inside Syria that have killed Iranians, though it did not acknowledged those raids. Israel had been preparing itself for weeks for possible Iranian retaliation. Trumps withdrawal from the nuclear deal has added to tensions and led to a new level of uncertainty over how Iran will respond. ISRAEL STRIKES IRANIAN DEPOT The artillery exchange follows a suspected Israeli air strike inside Syria near Damascus yesterday. Eight Iranians were among 15 foreign pro-regime fighters killed when a weapons depot of Irans elite Revolutionary Guards was hit. The raid struck the area of Kisweh south of Damascus late on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Syrias official news agency SANA said the army had intercepted two Israeli missiles fired towards Kisweh, with state television broadcasting images of fires in the nearby area. The death toll of the missile strike has risen to 15 pro-regime fighters eight from Irans Revolutionary Guards and others not of Syrian nationality, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said. The monitor previously reported nine pro-regime combatants had died in the raid, without specifying their nationality. SANA quoted a medical source saying that two civilians had died on a highway linking Damascus with the southern city of Deraa as a result of an explosion linked to the Israeli aggression. It is not the first time that Kisweh has been targeted. In December, Israel reportedly bombed military positions in the area south of Damascus, including a weapons depot. Since the start of Syrias civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement backing it inside the country. On April 29, missile strikes probably Israeli fired on regime military positions killed at least 26 mostly Iranian fighters, according to the Observatory. On April 9, missiles targeted the T-4 air base in the central province of Homs, killing up to 14 fighters, including seven Iranians, two days after an alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime. Damascus accused Israel of carrying out the strike. Israel and Syria are still officially in a state of war, though the armistice line on the sector of the Golan Heights which the Jewish state seized from its Arab neighbour in 1967 was largely quiet for decades until the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011. In an interview late last month, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to strike at any attempt by Iran to establish a military foothold in Syria.

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May 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Golan Heights: Scene of new turmoil between Syria, Israel …

The Israeli military says it has attacked dozens of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the long-contested Golan Heights. Here are some facts about the area and why it matters today: The Golan Heights is a plateau at the southwestern corner of Syria overlooking the Sea of Galilee and northern Israel, roughly 40 miles (65 kilometers) long and 15 miles (25 kilometers) wide. Militarily, it is strategic high ground, with broad views of both Israel and Syria below. Syria shelled northern Israel from the Golan Heights between 1948 and 1967. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it in 1981, but the world still considers it occupied. In 1974, Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire and a disengagement and U.N. peacekeepers deployed to the area. After the Syrian civil war, the peacekeepers left the area for several months after dozens of them were taken hostages by Syrian rebels. In 2016, the peacekeeping force returned with 1,100 troops currently deployed in the area. Israel and Syria held peace talks starting in 1991 and even appeared close to a deal in 2000. Disagreement over the fate of the Golan Heights foiled the talks. Syria fought in three wars against Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and battled Israel when it invaded Lebanon in 1982. Israel also acknowledged this year it carried out a 2007 airstrike in eastern Syria targeting an unfinished nuclear reactor built by North Korea. Syria and Israel have never made peace. During Syria’s civil war, Israel has carried out more than 100 airstrikes in Syria, targeting suspected weapons shipments by Iran to the Lebanese Hezbollah group. As the war now looks to be winding down, Israel has stepped up its tempo of strikes against Iran, viewing any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria as a threat.

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May 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria, Israelis …

In remarks broadcast earlier this week, Mr. Netanyahu said the Revolutionary Guards had moved advanced weapons to Syria, including ground-to-ground missiles and Iranian antiaircraft batteries that would threaten air force jets. Analysts say that any new conflict between Israel and Iran could mobilize Irans network of proxies from Syria and Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant movement is based, for a multiple-front attack on northern Israel. Iran is building what Israeli and American officials refer to as a corridor from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon. Iran refers to the alignment as the axis of resistance, and its defenders say it needs the ability to strike Israel to deter what Iran sees as an Israeli threat. Mr. Netanyahu has previously advocated military strikes on Iran to destroy its nuclear program. Israel has long accused Iran of carrying out attacks on Israeli targets outside of Israel. The most notorious was the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed at least 85 people and wounded hundreds, regarded as the worst terrorist attack in Argentina. The Israelis also have accused Irans leaders of complicity in attacks targeting Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia in 2012. And they have accused Iran of involvement, through the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, of attacking a bus full of Israeli vacationers in Bulgaria in 2013. Iran, which considers Israel an illegitimate country, has called Israels accusations specious and has blamed Israeli operatives for attacks inside Iran, notably the assassinations of five nuclear scientists, mostly by car bombs. In interviews on Israeli television on Wednesday night, Israels defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, tried to dispel fears of all-out war. The Israeli security establishment, he said, was operating responsibly and no one is looking for an escalation or war. But, he said, whatever needs to be done in order to defend the citizens of Israel, we will do.

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May 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Israel and Iran trade fire in most direct confrontation …

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May 9, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Fence dividing Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria …

As the war in Syria rages on, villagers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are watching on helplessly, as their friends and relatives are caught in the conflict. Members of the Druze religious group are separated by a border fence. Salman Fahkr El-Deen can see the fence from his balcony. Sometimes the war comes so close, he can feel it. “At home here, the windows are shaking from the noise of the guns, and the fighting on the Syrian side,” he said. The fence divides the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria. It runs across the valley, only metres from some of the houses. But, it has also cut through families. Many residents of the village have loved ones living on the other side. They feel great pain for the civilians caught in the fighting. “It’s more than feeling. Because the closest village here is full of our relatives, and our friends,” Mr El-Deen said. “It was in the eye of the storm. All the neighbouring villages here on both sides, are our neighbours.” He has lived in the Golan Heights, his whole life. “The Golan Heights are like the Mona Lisa. Beautiful, but sad,” he said. “War is changing boundaries everywhere. This is the idea of war. This is the diplomacy of fire. “This is what makes me very anxious, concerned about the future, that the regime is considering to divide Syria.” Israel captured the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967, and has continued to occupy and administer the territory. Most of the residents of the village of Majdal Shams are members of the Druze ethnic minority. Some have formally taken up Israeli citizenship, some have refused, others still regard themselves as Syrian. The Druze are primarily in Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. They have a strong sense of kinship, which crosses borders, nationalities and fences. Even though they live on the Israeli side, some of the residents regard themselves as proudly Syrian. Some fiercely oppose President Bashar al-Assad, others support him. Hasan Abu Wesam runs a small store near the main square, selling nuts and sweets. The Syrian flag flies above his shop and the television is tuned in to a Syrian news channel. “President Bashar al-Assad is a democrat. Everyone says this is not true and he is a dictator, but this is wrong,” Mr Wesam said. “He is defending his country, and fighting for his people, he is refusing to have Syria divided.” On April 14, the United States, Britain and France launched missile strikes on three locations in Damascus and Homs, in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian military in the city of Douma on April 7. “When I heard the news of the strike on Syria, the next morning I felt bad, it was very shocking, I felt like we been hit by a lightning strike, we felt like we’d been hit here, in this village,” Mr Wesam said. “We were so disgusted, people gathered on the streets talking about the aggression, they were dispirited, wanted to know more, what happened, what damage it caused, what were the results. People were very sad, it was bad news to us.” But some of the younger residents of Majdal Shams do not want to get involved in politics, they just want peace. Afeef Shofi, 25, works in his family’s earthmoving business in summer. In winter, he works as a ski instructor in the Golan Heights and Europe. He sees a big generation gap between young and old in the local Druze community. “Actually, there is. The older generation always focuses on the bigger picture. It focuses on what happened in the Golan Heights, what happened in the year of the occupation, what’s happening in Syria,” he said. “But the younger generation are more focused on the people, on what’s happening right now in Syria, all the bombing, everything that is happening in Syria, we focus on it more than them.” The fence has become part of daily life here. It cuts across the valley where the Druze once freely travelled. “Actually we got used to it. It’s not normal for everyone. All the visitors who come here, the first thing they see is the fence. And it’s a big fence, not a small one,” Ms Shofi said. “We live on this side, we live our life, like an ordinary life. But most of the time we think about what’s happening on the other side and what will happen.” Some of the residents of Majdal Shams send donations to stricken family members on the other side. The war is so close, but so far away. “This thing hurts us the most, because all of the families here have relatives there, brothers, sisters, uncles, all of the family members,” Mr Shofi said. “We try to keep in touch as we can with them, to see if they are OK, what is happening. We try to help, by supporting them, we can’t do much here. On this side here we can’t do much to help them.”

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April 19, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Netanyahu: Golan Heights will ‘Forever’ Remain Under Israeli …

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses actors of the economic sector during a lunch as part of the 54th Munich Security Conference, on Feb. 16, 2018 in Munich. Global security chiefs and top diplomats attend the annual Munich Security Conference running until Feb. 18, 2018 to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other international conflicts and crises.(Sven Hoppe / DPA / AFP) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday declared that the occupied Golan Heights would forever remain under Israeli control. At a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of a major security conference in Munich, Netanyahu declared that the Golan Heights would remain in Israels hands forever. The Syrian Golan Heights has been under Israeli occupation since 1967. Netanyahu also said Israel would not allow Iran to establish military bases in Syria — a scenario, he said, that Israel would take action to prevent. The prime ministers assertions come amid mounting tension in the region. Last Saturday, Israel claimed to have downed an Iranian drone over its territory. Shortly afterward, an Israeli F-16 was shot down over Syria. The two countries, the statement also said, agree to intensify their cooperation to bring about this result within the framework of established parameters, namely U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva process. Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. While U.N. officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000. This article has been adapted from its original source.

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February 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

The world wants to take the Golan Heights

Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: World governments have their sites on the Golan Heights in northern Israel as they seek a diplomatic solution to remove Syrian President Assad. They are trying to negotiate a deal that would give the Israeli portion of the Golan Heights to Syria. Turkey, the US, the UN, and the EU are all onboard. According to Jeremiah 49:23-27 Turkey is the obvious candidate that will conquer Syria and destroy Damascus. Turkish President Erdogan wants to remove Assad from Damascus and then install a Muslim Brotherhood ruler over Syria. The Bible compares the Antichrist to the ancient Assyrian kings because he will do the same things that the Assyrian kings did. The Assyrian kings conquered Syria and then invaded northern Israel. Turkish President Erdogan is ready to do both of these things. Turkish President Erdogan is the Antichrist. Even before the Turkish Army had entered Syria he already had intentions to take the Golan Heights. This Turkish lead invasion into northern Israel is described in Ezekiel chapter 38. It is known as the battle of Gog and Magog. Turkey will lead Iran, Libya, and Sudan into Israel. All of these nations are already fighting in Syria and Iran has already fired missiles into the Golan Heights. Every nation that is mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38 is already involved in the Syrian war. God will cause these armies to retreat from Israel using torrential rain, disease, and God will cause these armies to fight against one another. The world has declared its desire to take the Golan Heights from Israel. Israel has already defended the Golan Heights against Iran (Hezbollah as well as the Iranian Army) and Libya (The Free Syrian Army, also known as the moderate rebels). Turkey will conquer Syria, destroy Damascus, and then lead the forces that are fighting in Syria today into the Golan Heights. Today there is increased fighting on the Golan Heights. Iran and Hezbollah are fighting Libyan Al-Qaeda rebels (AKA the Free Syrian Army). The Syrian Army is preparing a major offensive. Ezekiel chapter 38 describes Turkey as it leads Libya, Iran, and Sudan into Israel. The handwriting is on the wall. Christians and Jews should recognize the events of our day. It is High Time to Awake. Related

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January 30, 2018   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

The Golan Heights, Israel | Israel Tour

The Golan Heights The Golan Heights, more simply the Golan, is Israels most northeastern region. Geographically, the Heights are bordered on the west by a rock cliff that drops 1,700 feet to the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River; on the south by the Yarmouk River; on the north by the international border with Lebanon; and on the east by a largely flat plain that stretches into Syria. The Golan Heights themselves are between 400 and 1,700 feet high. Geologically, the Golan Heights are a plateau and part of a volcanic field that extends northeast almost to Damascus. The entire area is scattered with inactive volcanic cones. Mount Hermon is in the most northern point of Golan Heights but is geologically separate from the volcanic field. HistoryIn biblical times, the Golan Heights was referred to as Bashan; the word Golan apparently derives from the biblical city of Golan in Bashan (Deuteronomy 4:43, Joshua 21:27). The area was assigned to the tribe of Manasheh, although the tribe of Dan is also associated with the Golan. In the First Temple Period (953-586 BCE), the area was contested between the northern Jewish Kingdom of Israel and the Aramean Kingdom, based in Damascus. In the late 6th 5th centuries BCE the region was settled by returning Jewish exiles from Babylonia. The Golan Heights, along with the rest of the region, came under the control of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and his successors, the Greeks. In the mid 2nd century BCE, Judah Maccabee and his brothers came to the aid of the local Jewish communities when these areas came under attack by their non-Jewish neighbors. Judahs grandnephew, the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannai, later added the Heights to his kingdom. In those days, the Golans chief city was Gamla. The Jews of Gamla joined their brothers in the Great Revolt against Rome in the 1st century CE, but the revolt failed and the city fell into Roman hands in 67 CE. The Jewish presence on the Golan Heights was renewed in 1886-1887, when Jews from Tzfat purchased lands in the Golan, and in 1891, when Baron Rothschild purchased approximately 18,000 acres of land there. New Jewish immigrants to Israel established five small communities on these lands, but in 1898 the Turks forced them to leave. Almost 50 years later, in 1947, the lands were seized by the Syrian army. Although most of the Golan Heights were included within Mandatory Palestine when the Mandate was formally granted in 1922, Britain relinquished the area to France in the Franco-British Agreement in 1923. The Heights became part of Syria upon the termination of the French Mandate in 1944. After the 1948-1949 War of Independence, the Syrians built extensive fortifications on the Heights, from where they shelled civilian targets in Israel and launched terrorist attacks. Over 140 Israelis were killed and many more were injured in these attacks between 1949 and 1967; heavy property damage was also inflicted. During the 1967 Six Day War, in response to Syrian attacks, the IDF captured the Golan Heights in just over 24 hours of intense fighting. Nearly all of the Golans Arab inhabitants fled as a result of the war; four Druze villages remain, three on the slopes of Mt. Hermon and one in the northern Golan. Almost immediately after the war, Israel renewed the Jewish presence on the Golan. KibbutzMerom Golan was founded in July 1967, at the initiative of kibbutzim in the nearby Upper Galilee and Hula Valley. By 1970, there were 12 Jewish communities on the Golan. On Yom Kippur of 1973, Syrian forces attacked across the 1967 cease-fire line and advanced into the central Golan, almost reaching the edge of the cliff, before being pushed back beyond the 1967 line by the main Israeli counterattack. Israel and Syria signed a Separation of Forces Agreement in May 1974; this agreement remains in force. The Golan Heights TodayApproximately 18,000 Jews live on the Golan today. They reside in kibbutzim and other agricultural settlements and in the town of Katzrin. Whereas most of the communities form the Golan Heights Regional Council, Katzrin has its own mayor and local council. Around 17,000 Druze also live in the Golan. The Druze community in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious entity with its own courts, which have jurisdiction in matters of personal status, and spiritual leadership. Their culture is Arab and their language Arabic, but they opted against mainstream Arab nationalism in 1948 and have since served in the IDF and the Border Police. The community has a special standing among the countrys minority groups, and members of the community have attained high-level positions in political, public, and military spheres. EconomyThe economy of the Golan Heights is based on both agriculture and industry, including tourism. In the Golan there are 5,000 acres of cultivated agricultural land, of which 4,000 acres are used for fruit orchards. Other crops growing on the Golan include subtropical plantations, wine grapes, various vegetables, and berry fruits. A further 100,000 acres of land are designated for natural pasture for 20,000 heads of cattle and sheep, for both meat and dairy production. The Golans dairy cattle produce approximately 60 million liters of milk per year. There are approximately 30 industrial enterprises on the Golan, mostly based in the Katzrin Industrial Zone. Some of the better-known industries are the Golan Heights Winery, and Mei Eden, one of Israels biggest mineral water distribution companies. There is a substantial tourist infrastructure on the Golan, including the Mt. Hermon ski slopes, archaeological sites, hotels, restaurants, guesthouse facilities in many communities, and three Societies for the Protection of Nature Field schools. There are also facilities for jeep and bicycle tours, as well as horseback riding. For more information, please fill out our online contact form or call 1.800.2.ISRAEL (1.800.247.7235).

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January 25, 2018   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed


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