AFP / MOHAMMED ABED
Palestinians protest in Gaza City on December 7, 2017 against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for a new intifada
US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sparked a Palestinian general strike and a call for a new intifada on Thursday as fears grew of fresh bloodshed in the region. The Israeli military has been moving westward on the fallout of Trump’s decision.
A mass demonstration was planned for the West Bank city of Ramallah later. Several thousand marched in the Gaza Strip Hamas-run on Wednesday night, burning US and Israeli flags while chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Trump’s announcement prompted an almost universal diplomatic backlash that continued on Thursday, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning it would be the region in a “ring of fire”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has been praised on Trump, saying his name would be associated with Jerusalem’s long history and other countries. Trump’s defiant move – making a pledge made during his 2016 presidential campaign – ends seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of the Holy City, which is claimed by Israelis and Palestinians.
AFP / SAUL LOEB
US President Donald Trump signs a memorandum recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017
Trump said this marks the start of a “new approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” he said in a speech from the White House on Wednesday, urging calm and “the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.”
– ‘Hey Trump!’ – But immediately the move sparked anger among Palestinians and their supporters. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for a new intifada, or uprising, in a speech in Gaza City. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Trump’s move disqualifies the United States from its traditional role as peace broker in the Middle East conflict. Saudi Arabia called the move “unjustified and irresponsible.” Erdogan asked: “Hey Trump, what do you want to do? “What kind of approach is this? Political leaders do not say things up, they seek to make peace,” he said, addressing the US leader directly in one of his most familiar rhetorical habits.
AFP / SAID KHATIB
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya calls for a new Palestinian intifada or uprising over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a speech in Gaza City on December 7, 2017
Palestinian shops in east Jerusalem, including the Old City, were generally shut down and closed on Thursday after a general strike was called. “By this decision, America became a small country, like Micronesia,” Salah Zuhikeh, 55, told AFP in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“America was a great country for us and everyone.” Trump’s move left many angry US allies struggling to find a diplomatic response. Through gritted teeth, Britain described the move as “unhelpful” and France called it “regrettable.” Germany said plainly that it “does not support” Trump’s decision. Eight countries including Britain, France, and the United States, which was pressed for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to the move, which was set for Friday. The leaders of Muslim nations meanwhile deploys rhetoric to describe trump’s decision, while Jordan and the Palestinians requested an emergency meeting of Arab League Foreign Ministers. – Right-wing politics – Trump also kicked off the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
AFP / HAZEM BADER
Palestinian women walk past shuttered shops in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron has a general strike is observed on December 7, 2017 following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
In doing so, he begins to make good on a campaign of honor to US evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters – as well as donors. Trump’s predecessors, from Bill Clinton to George Bush, had made the same promise, but quickly reneged upon taking office.
The 45th US president has been determined to show up in Washington, DC Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community. The Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. Several peace plans have been adopted in the past decades over the issue of how to divide sovereignty or oversee holy sites in Jerusalem. The international community does not formally recognize the ancient city as Israel’s capital, insisting the issue is resolved by a chief Antonio Guterres in the wake of Trump’s decision. Guterres implicitly criticized Trump, stressing his opposition to “any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace.” Trump insisted the move did not prejudge final talks, saying it simply reflected the reality that west Jerusalem is and will continue to be part of Israel under any settlement.
AFP / Musa AL SHAER
Palestinian demonstrators trample on US President Donald Trump in Bethlehem’s Eating Square on December 6, 2017, in protest at his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
“Said the US leader,” who said that this decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace. ” “The United States would have a two-state solution,” Trump said, as he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would return to the region in the coming days.
Trump further stated that the United States was not taking a position on any final issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. “Those questions are up to the parties involved,” he said. burs-mjs / kir