Germany says a unilateral decision by Israel to keep the Golan Heights would breach international law.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman was responding to a question about comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Sunday that his country will never withdraw from the strategic plateau bordering Syria.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in 1981. The move was unanimously rejected the same year by the U.N. Security Council.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says Monday "it's a basic principle of international law and the U.N. charter that no state can claim the right to annex another state's territory just like that."

Schaefer said Germany isn't currently demanding the immediate return of the territory due to the security situation in Syria.