From 1948 to 1967 the Golan Heights were controlled by Syria, which used the region to fire at the Israeli communities below and forced their residents to sleep in bomb shelters. Attempts to protest the Syrian bombardments to the UN Mixed Armistice Commission remained unsuccessful. In October 1966 Israel demanded at the United Nations a stop of the ongoing terrorist attacks of the Fatah which operated from the Golan Heights. The Syrian ambassador responded to this demand by declaring "It is not our duty to stop them, but to encourage and strengthen them".
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.