Syria silent amid muted global criticism of Trump Golan recognition

Message that Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel,’ Netanyahu says

Security. Israel says the civil war in Syria demonstrates the need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter that Turkey "supports Syria's territorial integrity".

The announcement comes while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with officials in Israel.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Trump's announcement was "completely beyond worldwide law".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Trump's declaration is of "equal historical importance" to his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his withdrawal from the global nuclear deal with Iran.

After the modern state of Israel was founded in 1948, tens of thousands of acres of land in the Golan Heights was seized from Jewish associations which had purchased the land in the late 19th century.

The majority of the Golan Heights were taken by Israel during the Six-Day War and the country later annexed their portion in 1981.

The moved faced some criticism from within the U.S. with Leon Panetta a veteran Democrat who served as Central Intelligence Agency director and defense secretary, among other roles, blasting Trump for "tweeting out another policy that obviously has not been worked out with our global partners".

"We all found out by tweet", one Israeli official said.

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Netanyahu, who faces an election in Israel on April 9, has been pressing for the United States to recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Mr Pompeo's presence also appeared to signal Mr Trump's support for Mr Netanyahu the political candidate.

Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria" that he did not intend his move as an explicit election boost for Netanyahu.

"At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, @POTUS Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights". But that annexation has not been recognized by the global community, which has regarded the Golan Heights as occupied territory and Israeli settlements there as illegal under worldwide law.

Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat panned the Golan announcement and said US policy would bring "bloodshed in our region".

More than 40,000 people live on the Israeli-occupied Golan, more than half of them Druze residents - an Arab minority who practice an offshoot of Islam.

'I think, for this reason, and many more, it is time that the worldwide community recognises Israel's stay on the Golan, and the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel'. Trump declared his break with that policy in a tweet. The book of Kings relates how King Ahab of Israel defeated Ben-Hadad I of Damascus near the present-day site of Kibbutz Afik in the southern Golan, and the prophet Elisha foretold that King Jehoash of Israel would defeat Ben-Hadad III of Damascus, also near Kibbutz Afik.

He recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and the Trump administration moved the USA embassy to Jerusalem in May. But the gesture was perceived as unfairly siding with Israel and prompted the Palestinians to sever ties with the U.S. The Palestinians already have rejected a planned Mideast peace initiative by the administration.

Until Trump's announcement, the United States and the global community have considered the Golan to be occupied Syrian territory.

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