THE GOLAN HEIGHTS (in Arabic, Al-Jaw-lan) is a hilly region in southwest Syria, bordering nearby regions of Lebanon and Jordan, with a highest point of 7,297 foot (2,224 meter). The area is 1 of the most heavily disputed areas in the history of the 20th century. When the state of Israel emerged after the vote of the United Nations and the war of independence in 1948, the Golan Heights, under Syrian rule, were used as a military tactical point against Israel. Up to the war of 1967, Syria used the Golan Heights to attack Israeli villages from the Sea of Galilee to the Lebanese border with sporadic artillery fire. The Golan Heights were heavily fortified by the Syrians, but the Israelis were informed about these activities by their master spy, Elie Cohen. The Israelis were able to take the Golan Heights in little more than 24 hours during the 1967 war, and the Syrians lost their decisive strategic asset for shelling large parts of northern Israel.