JERUSALEM (Jan. 16)
Premier Menachem Begin reacted cautiously today to a petition signed by 750,000, Israelis, including 70 Knesset members, calling in effect for the annexation of the Golan Heights. He told a delegation of Golan settlers who brought the petition to him that it would have to be taken into account by any Israeli government.
But Begin stopped short of making any commitment to implement the petition which claims that the Golan Heights is an integral part of Israel. However, he said it was an “historic event” that such a large number of citizens and Knesset members had signed it. In recent days, the Premier has warned several times that Syria may be preparing for war with Israel.
Some of the delegates demanded the immediate annexation of the Golan Heights which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. A Druze MK, Kamal Nasser A-Din of Likud, claimed it would be impossible to defend Israel if even one meter of the Golan was returned to Syria. A small portion of the Heights, including its largest city, Kuneitra, was returned to Syria under the 1975 disengagement agreement.