DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian newspapers on Tuesday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir for saying that Israel is determined to hang on to occupied Arab lands.
"What Shamir declared is a true expression of Israel's expansionist, aggressive policy against the Arabs," said Al Baath, newspaper of the ruling Arab Baath Socialist Party.
"If this is Israel's official stand, what is then left for an international Middle East peace conference to perform and on what basis?" it asked.
Shamir told a Herut Party congress Monday that the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip would remain in Israel's hands for ever.
Al Baath said a just peace could only be based on Israel's withdrawal from Arab lands.
The government newspaper Al Thawra said Shamir's statement was "a strong blow to any international peace effort in the Middle East."