Golan Heights: Five keys to understanding the dispute

Strategic importance

Elevation makes the Golan Heights strategically valuable. The region is mainly comprised of a plateau that sits at more than 1,000 feet above sea level, but rises to the peak of Mt. Hermon at more than 9,000 feet. Having control of the Golan gives Israel a vantage point from which to monitor any Syrian military movements towards Israel.

Before Israel captured the Golan Heights, Syrian forces stationed on the plateau were able to observe and fire on Israeli towns in the lowlands below with limited risk of retaliation.

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