Golan Heights

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The Golan Heights (Hebrew: רמת הגולן ) (Arabic:هضبة الجولان) is a plateau on the border of four rival countries in the Middle East: Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in both the Six-Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). Syria insists that the Golan Heights are part of the governorate of al Qunaytirah, and United Nations Resolution 242, unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 22 November 1967 takes the position that Israel should withdraw from the territory, along with all other territories that it occupied during the Six Day War.

Israel disagrees with this position, mainly for tactical reasons: if returned, the Golan Heights elevation (at 9,232 feet, or 2,184 meters, above sea level at its highest point) would allow enemies to launch missiles downward on Jerusalem (which sits at only 2,474 feet, or 754 meters, above sea level). Furthermore, it provides 15% of Israel's fresh water supply (the headwaters of the Jordan River are located there), providing enemies another tactical advantage.