As a geopolitical region, it refers to the border region captured from Syria by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967; the territory has been occupied by the latter since then and was subject to a de facto Israeli annexation in 1981. This region includes the western two-thirds of the geological Golan Heights and the Israeli-occupied part of Mount Hermon.


A geopolitical region refers to an area of the world that is defined by its geographical features, political boundaries, and strategic importance in terms of global politics. These regions are characterized by a combination of physical, cultural, historical, and political factors that distinguish them from other areas. Geopolitical regions play a crucial role in international relations as they often influence the distribution of power, alliances, conflicts, and economic activities.

What makes the Golan Heights a geopolitical region and strategically important for Israel? I looked up the definition of what a geopolitical region was and the definition implied that it had a strategic importance, and since it was annexed by Israel, it seemed to imply that there was an important strategical significance for Israel. What is or are they exactly?


3 Answers 3


The strategic importance is in military utility. Due to geography. It's a commanding height allowing observation and fire (and nowadays, line-of-sight for controlling drones etc) into SW Syria or Northern Israel, depending on which way one looks.

In the map below, note the peak marked with altitude 2814. That's Mount Hermon. You can see it also in the second map, which shows the current UN buffer force, to help put it into context.

a Image source: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_660BGWD-yHM/TOz6K7CuimI/AAAAAAAAHXw/5yH3CVPU3_o/s1600/israel-topography.jpg

b Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/GolanHights.JPG

  • 1
    Mount Hermon is actually not part of the Golan Heights, geographically. But access to it is controlled by whoever controls the Heights.
    – littleadv
    Commented Mar 7 at 18:31
  • The Region's Importance in Biblical Times See Mount Herman. This area has been contested since Biblical Times. Moses deeded it to one of the 12 tribes, and the Philistines used it for Idol Worship. Jewish Holocaust survivors chose the area to resettle after WWII because it was given to them by God, whether or not non-believers accept that or not.
    – eyoung100
    Commented Mar 7 at 19:22
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    @eyoung100 that's not true, and never was a consideration with regards to its capture or annexation.
    – littleadv
    Commented Mar 7 at 21:49
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    A small addition- the Golan heights has steep cliffs towards the Israeli side which makes it a hard military target to attack.
    – Rsf
    Commented Mar 8 at 9:29

Prior to Israel taking the Golan Heights during the Six Day War in 1967, Syria had routinely shelled Israel from the Golan Heights. Israel had decided that to prevent future attacks from the Golan Heights it needed to be in possession of the Golan Heights; hence its strategic value to Israel.

Israelis debate whether the Golan Heights should be attacked

On 7 and 8 June, the Israeli leadership debated about whether to attack the Golan Heights as well. Syria had supported pre-war raids that had helped raise tensions and had routinely shelled Israel from the Heights, so some Israeli leaders wanted to see Syria punished.

  • 1
    I'm not an expert on the region by any stretch of the imagination but isn't the fact that it is adjacent to the Sea of Galilee (really a freshwater lake) a big factor? This is one of Israel's primary sources of potable water, no?
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Mar 7 at 23:09
  • The location serves as a “buffer zone” between Israel and Syria (one of Israel's primary adversaries).
  • As @PeteW pointed out, the elevated terrain offers crucial vantage points for monitoring or defending against potential military threats.
  • The region contains headwaters of the Jordan River, which feeds the sea of Galilee, one of Israel's main sources of fresh water, a vital resource in a country that's mostly desert. Israel has fought over control of water before.

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