Just the Facts: Syrian Golan

  • In June 1967, Israel seized and occupied 1,250 km2 of the Syrian Golan (over 2/3 of the total land mass).
  • Israel forcibly transferred or displaced over 130,000 native Syrian inhabitants from their homes.
  • More than 26,000 Israeli settlers live in over 34 illegal settlements in the Syrian Golan.
  • Together with the Israeli military and authorities, they control 95% of the land.
  • The international community has repeatedly stated that the settlements are illegal under international law.
  • The native Syrian population of the Occupied Syrian Golan are recognised as having an ‘undefined’ citizenship, thus denied their basic right to a nationality.
  • Around 100 native Syrian inhabitants of the Occupied Syrian Golan have had their permanent residency status revoked since 1982 following travel and residency abroad for study or work. These people are unable to return back to their homes and join their families in the Occupied Syrian Golan.
  • More than 9000 acres – the equivalent of over 6000 football pitches – are suspected to be mined in the Occupied Syrian Golan.
  • At least 69 Syrians have been victims of landmines in the Occupied Syrian Golan. Among these, 18 died, half of whom were children.
  • 60% of Israeli Jewish employers refuse to apply laws that prohibit discrimination against Israeli Palestinians in the labour market.
  • Violations of Syrian workers’ labour rights started with the banning of Syrian-based labour unions in the 70s and continued with the prohibition of grassroot organizations to take their place.
  • The remaining Syrian population of 25,000 live in 5 severely overcrowded villages located in the extreme north.
  • As a result of severe restrictions imposed by Israeli planning committees, it is close to impossible for the Syrian population to obtain building permits.
  • Israeli authorities seek to appropriate 20,000 acres of land that has been used by the native Syrian residents since Ottoman rule under the guise of the ‘Hermon National Park’ plan from around two of the Syrian villages.
  • President Trump’s recent recognition, in violation of international law, of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan endangers regional and international peace and security.


These facts all come from the Al-Marsad ‘Issues’ pages, which you can access from the menu on their homepage.

Learning More 

To learn more about the Syrian Golan you can read the Al-Marsad ‘Issues’ articles on their website and check out their map and accompanying booklet in PDF. They also have a series of reports on various aspects of the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan.  And we have a playlist of related videos on YouTube.