Syria Bans Facebook to Reclaim Golan Heights

Damascus reportedly bans site after it permitted Golan residents to list Israel as country of residence.

Syria will launch a campaign demanding a boycott of Facebook because the social networking site permits Israelis living on the Golan Heights to list "Israel" as their country of residence, according to a report in Tuesday's Arab language newspaper Al Quds al Arabi.

Damascus will also deny its citizens access to Facebook as part of the protest, the newspaper reported.

Until recent months, Druze residents of the Golan were permitted to list Syria as their country of residence. Yet residents of Golan towns launched a protest with Facebook demanding that the policy be changed to allow residents the option of listing either country in their personal profile.

Aside from the controversy over the Golan Heights, the newspaper reported that Syrian authorities also restricted access to Facebook due to concerns that Israeli Web users would try to initiate contact with Syrian citizens.

Many Israeli Facebook users have already used the site's chat feature to correspond with Syrians. Authorities in Damascus have also banned access to YouTube.