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.
- Some tourists will be banned to visit “The Forbidden City” in Beijing
"Chinese management of the site blacklisted some tourists.
The blacklist counts around 2500 people, who could have ever visited the UNESCO site and behaved discourteously. Those who scratched their names or did other signs on the walls and sculptures of the ancient construction, littered or entered the palace using a fake ticket will no longer be able to visit The Forbidden City for at least three years.
As reported, such a practice did a good result that is why the site management plans to keep implementing this kind of sanction. And those people who are re-selling the tickets will be punished as well.
Such an unsuitable conduct of the tourists is not uncommon in China. Earlier it was mentioned that, despite the ban, the tourists who arrived to Shaanxi province keep touching the breast of the bare-waist deep statue of Yang Guifei. "
- Another European railway strike
"The French railway strike is planned on October 8, and Belgium strike will be held the next day.
It is supposed that French train staff will stop working on the evening of October 7 and will resume it by the morning 9 October. The aim of the strike is to attract the attention of the authorities due to the worsened working conditions and also their payment dissatisfaction. To be more precise, the trade unions want to reassure the authorities not to reform the Labor Code and pension payroll system.
Their Belgium colleagues wish to come up with the same requirements. It was also reported that high-speed trains Eurostar will be routed between London and Lille without reaching Brussels due to the strike. Thalys trains connecting Belgium and French capital cities will be canceled. The tourists would better think of an alternative way or choose some other means of transport. "