"We know that on the other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has backed off, and global jihad operatives have taken its place," Mr Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting.
"We must therefore protect this border from infiltrations and terror."
He reiterated fears over chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist groups.
Mr Netanyahu said that returning the territory would turn it into " Iran's front lines which will threaten the whole state of Israel". (© Daily Telegraph, London)