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About - City History - Tourism Guide - Towns

Al-Quneitra is situated in the Southwest of Syria and extends over an area of 1860 square km. In the year 1967 its population was about 153,000 inhabitants. The Word Quenitra is a diminishing of the word Quanatara (bridge). It is a passing point to from Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. This Muhafazet was known as the Golan and was recognized by its various relives from the peak of mount Hermon which is 2814m. high to the lake of Tiberias which is 212m. below sea level. In the Meantime when snow covers Mount Hermon and the other mountains and hills of Golan we find people bath in the hot mineral waters in Al-Hemeh in the South.

This Muhafazet is famous for its abundant water and its flowing sources which fall into both the Yarmouk and the Jordan rivers. With regard to the geographic and climatic nature of Golan, the ancient man lived there since the stone age and traces of him were found in many places (Banat Yacoub Bridge; Tal Akkash).

City History

The Assyrians documents confirm that the history of Golan is linked with the Arab history and the Pharaoh’s sources confirm that it was a part of the Amorite state which was established in 2250 B.C. followed by the civilizations of the Arameans, the Assyrians the Caldaneans, the Persians and the Hellenistic. In 106 A.D. the Golan became part of the Arab state which was established during the Roman rule and was ruled by Al-Ajaghimah and the Ghassanites.

These civilizations stamped each of Quneitra, Banyas, Fieq, Al-Khehnieh, Khesfeen, Al-hemeh, Massa’da, Khan-Arnabeh, Al-Bteiha and Al-Sabebieh castle. In 636 A.D. Al-Yarmouk Battle took place, after which the Arabs won victory and terminated the Byzantine rule and Quenitra remained an Arab symbol among the time until 1967.

In June 1967, a smiling town of 37,000 inhabitants, living happily in the freshness of the winds blowing from over the snows of the Jabal al Sheikh (Mount Hermon), amongst its fruit trees, its vines, its wheat, its poultry and its oxen…

Today Qunaytra is no more than the ghost of a town. On either side of streets that are still in one piece the houses lie fallen, dismantled, and gutted, as if blown down by some giant hurricane. Three or four cracked minarets and the two towers of a church, with gaping holes in them, point symbolically towards the sky. Some way off, a building that was once a modern hospital with three hundred beds in rent with holes. Five or six houses, alone in the center, from a small unscathed island… Built as they are of volcanic rock (the rest of the town was concrete) the bulldozers could not shift them!

For the tragedy of Qunaytra is not that it was, like so many other towns in the world, alas, pounded by artillery and flattened by air forces; there was particularly no fighting here. Qunaytra was "totally and systematically" destroyed by Israel. All the international experts have affirmed that the destruction was "deliberate". No need to be an expert to spot the effects of deliberate dynamiting. The buildings have not been blown up; they just caved in, as the supporting pillars were knocked away. The destructive fury of the occupying forces, which in June 1974 were suddenly forced to evacuate the Syrian town they had held since 1967, is shown by any number of other details: electricity and telephone poles sawn up; mosques, churches and cemetery sacked; removal of commemorative plaques from the Monument to the Dead; and even the precious tiles that covered the Khaled Ibn al-Walid Mosque, etc.

Tourism Guide

Non but destruction, and sadness must visit place just to know what Israel really is all about..

Towns Around The City

- Golan Hieghts

Syrian territory, now under Israeli occupation, of about 1,250 km². The Golan Heights are situated to the east of the Jordan River. Today the population of the Golan Heights is principally Jewish Israeli, after large numbers of locals fled the area in 1973. Altogether, the number of inhabitants must exceed 100,000. Golan Heights has been annexed by Israel, and is under Israeli law, but this is not internationally recognized.

1948: The Golan Heights becomes strategically important, as it is used as a base for artillery attacks on Israel, mostly during wars.

1967: Golan Heights occupied by Israel early in the Six-Day War.

1973: For a couple of days during the Yom Kippur War, the Golan Heights is recaptured by Syria.

1975: Syria gets an area around the town of Quneitra, as a result of US-led talks after the Yom Kippur War.

1981: Golan Heights is officially annexed by Menachim Begin's government. The area is set under Israeli law, and settlements are established.

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