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The Golan Heights - Israel-Syria peace talks

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Uploaded on May 23, 2008

The Golan Heights were under military administration between 1967 and 1981. In that year, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law,placing the Golan Heights under civilian Israeli law, administration, and jurisdiction. Most non-Jewish residents of the Golan Heights, mainly Druze, refused to surrender Syrian citizenship, though Israeli citizenship was available to them.
In 2005 the Golan Heights had a population of approximately 38,900, including approximately 19,300 Druze, 16,500 Jews, and 2,100 Muslims. Jewish villages, including moshavim and kibbutzim, are consolidated municipally under the Golan Regional Council, and are inhabited by Israeli citizens.
Unlike Druze in Israel proper, fewer than 30% of the Druze of the Golan Heights are Israeli citizens; the remainder hold Syrian citizenship. The latter are permanent residents of Israel, and they hold a laissez-passer. The pro-Israeli Druze are ostracized by the pro-Syrian Druze. Reluctance to accept citizenship also reflects fear of ill treatment or displacement by Syrian authorities should the Golan Heights eventually be returned to Syria . According to The Independent, most Druze in the Golan Heights live relatively comfortable lives in a freer society than they would have in Syria under the present regime.

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