Golan Heights, strategic area, formerly part of Syria, between southern Lebanon and southwestern Syria. Israel occupied the Golan Heights after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, officially claiming it in 1981. Syria does not accept Israel's claim. Despite negotiations on Syrian sovereignity in the early 1990s no agreement was signed in the mid 1990s. The Golan Heights is 454 sq mi (1,176 sq km), overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River.