Daily Israel Report

Building Boom and Prosperity in Golan Heights

The Golan Heights is enjoying an unprecedented building boom. Mideast turmoil makes Syrian demands for the Golan even more distant.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/23/2011, 10:29 AM / Last Update: 2/23/2011, 10:42 AM

Flash 90

The Golan Heights, demanded by Syria, is enjoying an unprecedented building boom, and virtually no apartments are available for rent or sale, according to a regional official.

“The wave of building is at a record high, Sammy Bar-Lev, chairman of the regional council in Katzrin, the region’s largest city, told Arutz 7.

“There are 8,000 people in Katzrin today, and there is zoning approval for more building, with a current project adding 36 new family units,” he added.

Bar-Lev said the employment situation is excellent and that the jobless rate is extremely low. Local industry, ranging from a large winery and a bottled water plant to boutique shops, has created hundreds of jobs.

The nearby city of Tzfat, in the Upper Galilee, also is a source for employment.

Golan Heights residents have been under the threat of expulsion for years because of America-sponsored attempts for an Israeli-Syrian peace treaty based on the surrender of the strategic and water-rich area.

The threat has diminished in recent years because of little public support in Israel for relinquishing the area and due to doubts of Syria’s sincerity for peace. In addition, the Knesset has passed a law that virtually prevents a surrender of the Golan by requiring a large majority of the Knesset for approval as well as agreement from the public via a referendum.

Bar-Lev reasoned that the recent turmoil in the Middle East makes an agreement with Syria even more distant.