Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising over Trump’s Jerusalem plan

07 Dec, 2017 8:21 pm

GAZA (Reuters) – The powerful Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Trump’s decision has raised doubts about his administration’s ability to follow through on a peace effort that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has led for months aimed at reviving long-stalled negotiations.

The United Nations Security Council is likely to meet on Friday to discuss the U.S. decision, diplomats said.

“STRATEGIC DANGER”

Israel and the United States consider Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2007, a terrorist organization. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and its suicide bombings helped spearhead the last intifada, from 2000 to 2005.

“We have given instruction to all Hamas members and to all its wings to be fully ready for any new instructions or orders that may be given to confront this strategic danger that threatens Jerusalem and threatens Palestine,” Haniyeh said.

“United Jerusalem is Arab and Muslim, and it is the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine,” he said, referring to territory including Israel as well as the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Haniyeh called on Western-backed Abbas to withdraw from peacemaking with Israel and on Arabs to boycott the Trump administration.

Abbas said on Wednesday the United States had abdicated its role as a mediator in peace efforts. Palestinian secular and Islamist factions have called for a general strike and rallies on Thursday.

Fearing recrimination could disrupt reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah and other Fatah delegates arrived in Gaza on Thursday to meet Hamas.

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem, believing its status should be resolved in negotiations. No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump’s decision fulfils a campaign promise and will please Republican conservatives and evangelicals who make up a sizeable portion of his domestic support.

He said his move was not intended to tip the scale in favor of Israel and that any deal involving the future of Jerusalem would have to be negotiated by the parties, but the move was seen almost uniformly in Arab capitals as a sharp tilt towards Israel.

The United States is asking Israel to temper its response to the announcement because Washington expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to US facilities and people, according to a State Department document seen by Reuters.

Protests broke out in areas of Jordan’s capital, Amman, inhabited by Palestinian refugees, and several hundred protesters gathered outside the US consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday after Trump’s announcement.

Protests are expected on Thursday in Pakistan, where the government said of Trump’s move: “It is a serious setback to the rule of law and international norms. It signals a severe blow to the Middle East peace process.”

Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan said the United States was “exposing its colonial ambition in Muslim territory”.

Palestinians switched off Christmas lights on trees outside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born, and in Ramallah, next to the burial site of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in protest.

 

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