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Israeli cowboys find home on the firing range in Golan Heights

Nir Elias / Reuters

Amit, an Israeli cowboy, treats his horse after working with cattle on a ranch just outside Moshav Yonatan, a collective farming community, about a mile south of the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights.

Nir Elias / Reuters

Amit, left, and Alon unload their horses after working with cattle in the early morning.

A mile south of the tense frontier between Israel and Syria, a volcanic rocky plateau on the Golan Heights is home to an unlikely double act: cowboys and soldiers.

A group of Israeli cowboys have been raising cattle on a 10,000 acre ranch here for some 35 years. Half of their land is taken up by the Israeli military, who use it as a live-fire training zone. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the territory in 1981, a move not recognized internationally.

Read about photographer Nir Elias' encounter with the Golan Heights cowboys on Reuters' Photographers Blog.

Nir Elias / Reuters

Nadav, right, the chief cowboy of the Yonatan herd, walks next to Israeli soldiers on a ranch just outside Moshav Yonatan.

Nir Elias / Reuters

Nadav tends cattle on the ranch.

Nir Elias / Reuters

Alon pushes cattle into their pen in the early morning.

Nir Elias / Reuters

Amit, left, and Alon get ready for work in the early morning.

Editor's note: Pictures taken on May 2 and May 21, 2013 and made available to NBC News today.