For the estimated 21,100 Syrian Arabs living in the occupied Golan, travel to Syria proper is severely restricted, if not impossible. The ICRC works as a neutral intermediary with officials in Syria and in Israel to help students and pilgrims cross the demarcation line for educational and religious purposes.
It is a very special event when Syrian Druze from the Golan are able to travel to Syria proper. While Druze communities on both sides of the demarcation line can keep in touch by phone, direct family contact is almost impossible. Many people in the Golan have been separated from their loved ones since 1967. Not being able to maintain social, cultural and family ties has an immense effect on the Syrian Arab population of the occupied Golan.
Operational update: ICRC helps Syrian Arabs maintain links with families elsewhere in Syria