Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declares that Tel Aviv will never return the occupied Golan Heights to Syria.
Benjamin Netanyahu made the remarks in an interview with Russian-language reporters on Friday, saying "remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria", Israeli online daily, Ha’aretz reported.
Israel seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the Syrian territory in 1981, a move never recognized by the international community.
Syria wants the return of all of the Golan Heights, saying the strategic Golan Heights will always belong to Syria and Israel’s departure from Golan is the only way to peace.
According to Ha’aretz, Netanyahu also said that he is now ready to stand up to the US President Barack Obama to tell him that Israel would not give up on "matters that affect Israel’s security".
Ahead of a scheduled visit to Washington, Netanyahu said that he would discuss the Iranian nuclear issue and Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Obama during the visit.
Netanyahu said that he intends to emphasize to Obama the need to deal with Iran and its "nuclear program, which is a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East". He also described Iran as an obstacle for normalizing ties between Israel and Arabs.
Recent reports suggested that Israel attempts to win back the United State’s support for its stance on Iran and Palestine as US President Barack Obama is mulling over plans to impose sanctions against Israel should the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu implement its long-sought policy of countering Iran’s nuclear activities by taking military action against the country.