Brush fires from stray mortar bombs were still ablaze on the occupied Golan Heights on Friday as Israeli farmers returned to their fields, a day after battles in Syria's civil war reached a U.N.-manned border crossing.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in principle in 2010 to give back the Golan Heights to Syria, the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot reported.
Syria's defense minster and several other government officials were killed or hurt by a suicide bomber in Damascus, a day after Israel's army intelligence chief said that President Bashar Assad had moved his troops from the Golan Heights to the capital.
Israelis on the right and left were angered by Ehud Olmert's suggestion in an interview at the twilight of his term that Israel should cede virtually all its disputed land. Too little, too late, said the leftists. Too much, said the rightists.
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Bennett Zimmerman, a buttoned-down investment fund manager by day, stood up at the end of an evening's conversation and removed his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with bold Hebrew letters spelling out Ha'am im HaGolan -- The People are with the Golan.
Ehud Barak is going to have a hard time persuading the Israeli voters to endorse any deal with Syria that entails a withdrawal from most or all of the Golan Heights. The public is drifting away from the prime minister. So far.
Emotions ranging from hope to uncertainty to anger fill the 16,000 Golan Heights residents as their fate is again the topic of Israeli-Syrian peace talks.
Negotiations resumed Wednesday in Washington, and residents here know that the price for peace with Syria is likely to be the return of all or most of the Golan, the strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Rosh Hashanah may be a time of year when Jews around the world pray for peace, but for the 16,000 Jewish residents of the Golan Heights, those prayers were somewhat more difficult to recite this year.