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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising over Trump's Jerusalem plan

Reuters , Thursday 7 Dec 2017
Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City December 7, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian factions called for a "Day of Rage" on Friday, and on Thursday, a wave of protest in the occupied West Bank and Gaza brought clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops.

At least 50 people were wounded by Israeli gunfire and rubber bullets, Palestinian media said.

The military said it was reinforcing troops in the occupied West Bank.

Some protesters chanted: "Death to America! Death to the fool Trump!"

Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy on Wednesday by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, angering the Arab world and upsetting Western allies.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada (Palestinian uprising) in the face of the Zionist enemy," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza.

On Friday's "Day of Rage," rallies and protests are expected near Israeli-controlled checkpoints in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza.

Friday prayers at the Muslim shrine of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem could also be a flashpoint.

Naser Al-Qidwa, an aide to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior official in his Fatah party, urged Palestinians to stage protests but said they should be peaceful.

Abbas on Thursday met Jordan's King Abdullah, whose dynasty is traditional custodian of Jerusalem's holy places. Jordan is a staunch U.S. ally but has dismissed Trump's move as "legally null".

Palestinian news agency Wafa said Abbas updated the king on "the imminent dangers in light of the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation state, and the mechanism of future steps to protect the holy city".

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of an independent state of their own to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.

Protests have broken out since Trump's announcement in Jordan, outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul and in Pakistan.

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.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

 

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