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Israel lifts blockade in four Golan towns

Israel lifted a six-week blockade of four villages in the Syrian Golan Heights after failing to break a general strike in protest against the annexation of the area. The 13,000 Arab Druze residents of the heights went on strike nearly eight weeks ago after Israel arrested some local leaders for allegedly inciting resistance to the annexation of the strategic plateau last December.

Israel's Army radio said dozens of residents of the biggest Druze village, Majdel Shams, staged a demonstration in the main square soon after the blockade was lifted. There were no reports of violence.

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