From high atop Mt Avital, top-secret Israel Defence Forces' electronics peer deep into Syria, but the Quneitra Viewpoint, on the volcano’s lower flanks, also affords fine views into Israel’s troubled northern neighbour. The site – at which an 'audio explanation station' describes the battles fought here in 1973 – overlooks the ruined town of Quneitra, one-time Syrian 'capital of the Golan', just 2km away.
At the end of the Six Day War, Quneitra, at the time a garrison town defending Damascus (60km to the northeast), was abandoned in chaos by the Syrian army after Syrian government radio mistakenly reported that the town had fallen. It changed hands twice during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which Israel began with just 177 tanks against the attacking Syrians’ 1500. Inside the UN buffer zone since 1974, the town has been under the control of Syrian rebel forces since 2014.
About 150m north along Rte 98, a Yom Kippur War memorial is marked by the turret of a US-built Israeli tank and an 'audio explanation station'.
A path leads down the slope from the viewpoint to the Golan Volcanic Park–Avital, situated in an old quarry whose excavations exposed many layers of the Golan's eventful geological history. Signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
The viewpoint and park are on the eastern side of Rte 98, 1.3km north of Zivan Jct.