Golan Heights: Five keys to understanding the dispute

Demographics

Some 150,000 Syrians fled the Golan Heights into other parts of Syria in 1967 after Israel captured the territory. More than 20,000 Arabs remain today, many descendants of those who remained behind in 1967. Most of them swear loyalty to Syria and refused Israel’s offer of citizenship following its annexation of the Golan Heights in 1981.

Israeli settlement of the Golan began in earnest after Israel annexed the land (but not the West Bank or Gaza Strip). By 2009, there were 32 Israeli settlements in the Golan and about 17,000 Israelis.

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