Netanyahu: Israel Will Never Return Golan Heights to Syria

Plans Outdoor Cabinet Meeting in Occupied Heights

Announcing an outdoor cabinet meeting in the occupied Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the international community recognize their military conquest of the heights as a permanent territory change, and accept the territory as Israeli.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, and formally annexed the territory in 1981. The international community still views the heights as part of Syria, and Israel has reportedly offered to return the territory to Syria as part of a broader peace deal in the past.

Netanyahu’s far-right government is averse to returning occupied territory in return for peace, and has been moving to block any efforts by the international community to get them to end the occupation, reportedly “furious” about the idea that Syria’s peace talks could mean the return of the territory.

Netanyahu also pressed the US on the matter back in November, though at the time the White House refused to recognize Israel’s annexation, saying that doing so would harm the Syrian rebel factions by presenting them as being backed by pro-Israel interests.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.