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.