The FINANCIAL — Palestinians have clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City, the second straight day of protests and violence after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel deployed hundreds of additional police in Jerusalem’s Old City on December 8 ahead of the main weekly Muslim prayers, while the Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising or “intifada” to protest Trump’s move.
Demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinians are under way and expected to continue on December 8 in the Middle East and other Muslim-majority states.
In Pakistan, protesters in Islamabad led by the hard-line religious Jamaat-e Islami party chanted slogans against recognizing Jerusalem, while similar protests have been held in other cities and areas, including Peshawar, Swat, and Quetta, RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal reported.
Hundreds of Iranians, meanwhile, rallied throughout the country to denounce Trump’s decision, with protesters chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” state television reported.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinians regard it as the capital of their future state. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and declared all of the city as its capital, a move never recognized by the international community. Most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
In his announcement, Trump said he would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move experts say could take three to four years, according to RFE/RL.
He said the decision would “finally acknowledge the obvious — that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital” and that he still intends “to do everything in my power to help force” a peace agreement acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians.
U.S. allies from Germany and Saudi Arabia to Britain and the European Union condemned Trump’s decision and said it would make negotiating peace in the region more difficult.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, the BBC, The New York Times, and RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal