DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria is protesting Israel’s recent to go ahead with a gas exploration project in the Golan Heights.

In letters sent to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general Thursday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry called the decision a “blatant violation” of UN resolutions and Syria’s sovereignty.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed the strategic plateau.

On Feb. 21, Israel said it had issued a permit for the American-Israeli company Genie Energy to drill for oil on the plateau.

Syria alleges that Israel is trying to consecrate its occupation of Syrian territory and steal its resources.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press