Leaders of settlements in the occupied Golan Heights stated on Thursday that settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Syrian area will continue and will advance.The leaders said that “any attempt to harm the Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights inflicts danger on the Israeli security, and will fail”, the Arabs48 news website reported.

The statement came following a meeting held on Thursday with the participation of Eli Malka, head of the Golan Regional Council, Sami Barlev, head of the local council of Katzrin settlement, former member of Knesset Yihoda Hariel, and others.

Several members of Knesset slammed the notion of a withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria. The Golan Heights are Syrian territories illegally annexed by Israel after the 1967 war.

Member of Knesset Ze’ev Elkin, from Kadima party which is headed by Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said that withdrawal from the Golan will not be supported by Knesset members, even by Kadima members of Knesset.

Member of Knesset, Effie Eitam, from the Ichud Leumi – Mafdal party, stated that a withdrawal from the Golan Heights compromises the security of Israel, and added that “no one will be allowed to give the area back to Syria”.

Moreover, several Rabbis in the Golan Heights said on Thursday that the area “is part of the Land of Israel”, and described it as “a Jewish inheritance from God”, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Jerusalem Post added that the Rabbis said that the Heights “cannot be ceded to non-Jews”.

 Yigal Ariel, the Rabbi of Moshav Nov, said that the Golan Heights is part of Israel, and stated that “all the commandments that govern Israel apply in the Golan heights”.  He added that “God gave a command to conquer this land”, the Jerusalem post reported.

Yosef Levi, Chief Rabbi of the Katzrin settlement said that it is prohibited by a religious ruling to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

Levi added that “Jews under the leadership of Moses made their first conquest in the Golan Heights”. He stated that it is forbidden to withdraw from the area.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 as it also captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Israel placed the Golan Heights under military administration between the years of 1967 and 1981. In 1981, Israel passed a law which it called “The Golan Heights Law” and placed the area under Israeli civilian law.