chapter  3
15 Pages

The settlement map of the Syrian Golan

Was it really empty? On the eve of the Six Day War, there were 273 settlements in the Syrian Golan district: the city of Quneitra, 162 towns and villages and 110 agricultural farms; 254 were permanent settlements and the others (19) were seasonal. There were 150,000 inhabitants – one-fifth of them in Quneitra (see Table 3.1). After the war, 50 of the settlements remained in Syrian territory.1 The settlement landscape was rural with the physical features of typical Middle Eastern Arab villages, characteristic of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. The settlements, except for Quneitra, were villages

which were spread over the total area with an average population density of 88 inhabitants per square kilometer. The north of the Golan was denser than the south with 95 inhabitants per square kilometer in contrast with 67. Especially dense were the Betekha Valley and the sub-district of Al-Mihjar, which was in the administrative region of Betekha, with some 11,000 inhabitants in an area of 30 square kilometers, that is, agricultural settlement with a population density of 367 people per square kilometer.