THE GOLAN HEIGHTS (in Arabic, Al-Jaw-lan) is a hilly region in southwest SYRIA, bordering nearby regions of LEBANON and JORDAN, with a highest point of 7,297 ft (2,224 m).
The area is one of the most heavily disputed areas in the history of the 20th century.
When the state of ISRAEL emerged after the vote of the United Nations and the war of independence in 1948, the Golan Heights, under Syrian rule, were used as a military tactical point against Israel.
Up to the war of 1967, Syria used the Golan Heights to attack Israeli villages from the Sea of Galilee to the Lebanese border with sporadic artillery fire.
The Golan Heights were heavily fortified by the Syrians, but the Israelis were informed about these activities by their master spy, Elie Cohen.
The Israelis were able to take the Golan Heights in little more than 24 hours during the 1967 war, and the Syrians lost their decisive strategic asset for shelling large parts of northern Israel.
In the war of 1973, the Israelis were taken by surprise, including on the Syrian front.
After heavy losses, the Israelis, in an unprecedented turn of the tide, drove out the conquering Syrians and were only stopped by political pressures from the UNITED STATES to go all the way to DAMASCUS, the Syrian capital.
After political negotiations brokered by U.S.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Israel and Syria signed a disengagement agreement in 1974.
The Israelis gave back the Syrian land conquered in 1973 and even part of the Golan Heights area (especially the city of Kuneitra).
The economic importance of the Golan Heights is negligible (apart from some tourism, including winter sport facilities in the Mount Hermon area), but the strategic importance of the Golan Heights is gigantic.
By its prominent position, the Golan Heights can control many parts of northern Israel.
Therefore, the Israeli parliament made the Golan Heights part of Israel in 1981.
U.S.-brokered negotiations in the 1990s for a peace settlement between Syria and Israel failed, as the Syrian side demanded the return of the Golan Heights before any peace settlement, and the Israeli side ruled out discussions on a change of sovereignty of this strategic asset without any durable peace settlement with Syria.
The Golan Heights remain a hotspot of international tension and could well become the setting for another war, although the area has limited immediate military presence as a consequence of the agreements of the 1970s.
- Pavements in Great Britain are now able to bring free Wi-Fi
"Communications company from Buckinghamshire that is located to the north-west of London has offered an unusual service for local residents and guests in Chesham: a wireless internet connection is now provided by the pavements.
All the necessary equipment is installed under the so-called “smart pavement” that is capable to stand the heavy loads. At the moment the network covers the central streets and main bus stops of the town. It is planned to install the Wi-Fi zones all around Chesham.
Let us remind you that Moscow is planning to make available free Wi-Fi connection in the buses till the end of 2015. "
- China’s glass-bottom bridge appeared to be not as strong as everybody expected
"The glass on the bottom got cracked just underneath the tourists
It is reported that one of the tourists dropped a metal mug on the bridge floor while visiting this new place of interest. It resulted in a glass crack. When this happened all the tourists were immediately evacuated and the bridge itself was closed to the public.
The representatives of the Shiniuzhai geological park, where the bridge is placed state that the accident didn’t threaten the visitors’ security as there was only 1 of the 3 glass layers that got cracked. The glassmaker also agrees that there was nothing to worry about and the glass cracks don’t pose any risk to the tourists. However, it’s hard to believe, but that is not the first material flaw produced by this company. A year ago the glass floor placed at one of the skyscrapers in Chicago got cracked and was supplied by the same company. "