MAJDAL AL-SHAMS, Druze village in the N. Golan, at the foot of Mt. Hermon. Under Israeli military administration after the *Six-Day War (1967), Majdal al-Shams was the largest of all Druze villages in the region. In 1968 it had 3,500 inhabitants whose social and economic services were greatly improved after 1967. Profits from its rich fruit orchards increased and new sources of income were created in tourism, construction of new roads (e.g., the one leading from the village to the top of Mt. Hermon), etc. In 1982 Majdal al-Shams received municipal council status. The village is spread over 4.5 sq. mi. (12 sq. km.) and reached a population of 8,240 in 2002. Income was about a third of the national average. Majdal al-Shams maintained friendly contact with the Israeli administration and close contact with the Druze community in Israel, while maintaining its contacts with the Druze community across the border in Syria.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.