Arab League urges US to reverse ‘Jerusalem move’ amid global backlash

Hundreds of people have been injured and at least two killed in violent clashes triggered by the Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Amid a global backlash, the Arab League urged Washington to reconsider its “dangerous” new policy.

READ MORE: ‘Declaration of war’: Trump’s Jerusalem decision lights Middle East powder keg

10 December 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators took to Market Street in San Francisco on Saturday to denounce US President Donald Trump's decision.

The League of Arab Nations has refused to accept Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

“The decision has no legal effect... It deepens tension, ignites anger and threatens to plunge the region into more violence and chaos,” the Arab League said in its final declaration after convening an emergency meeting Sunday in Cairo.

Potential economic sanctions against the US, earlier suggested by Lebanon, were not referenced in the document, according to Reuters.

A group of masked youths have attacked a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, with Molotov cocktails, amid a global backlash against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. No one was hurt in the incident, local media report.

09 December 2017

The North Korean Foreign Ministry has called US President Donald Trump “a dotard” over his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A spokesperson for the ministry repeated the insult made famous by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a statement released to the state-run KCNA news agency Saturday.

“This decision of the U.S. is not so surprising as it came from a dotard who had cried out for ‘total destruction’ of a sovereign state [North Korea] at a sacred UN forum,” the statement read. “But, through it, the world will be able to well discern about who is really a wrecker of the world peace and security and who is a gang of hooligans of the international society.”

The spokesperson also said the Jerusalem decision is a “reckless and high-handed act” deserving of “global condemnation and rejection.”

Kim Jong-un first called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” in response to the president’s vow to destroy North Korea in a speech to the United Nations in September.

Over 1,000 Palestinians were involved in demonstrations, including 600 people in the West Bank and 450 in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

Palestinian protests played out at around 20 locations in the West Bank, including the towns of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Tulkarm, according to the IDF.

Some 13 protestors were arrested for throwing stones and physically assaulting officers in East Jerusalem, Israeli police said. Four policemen suffered light wounds during the clashes in the city, it added.

Around a hundred Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police and military Saturday, Red Crescent spokesman Erab Fuqaha told RIA Novosti. “60 Palestinians were wounded in skirmishes in Jerusalem and 32 others in the Gaza Strip,” Fuqaha said. Earlier the Red Crescent, said those who were wounded “suffocated from (tear) gas and were hit with rubber bullets.”

The protests in East Jerusalem, which lasted for last six hours, have concluded. The Palestinian crowd has been dispersed and traffic on Salah ad Din Street has returned to normal.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Mohammed Qarqash, has called the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “a gift to radicalism.”

“Radicals and extremists will use that to fan the language of hate," Qarqash said at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain, as cited by Reuters.

RT’s Charlotte Dubenskij was reporting from Salah ad Din street, the main thoroughfare of East Jerusalem, when several stun grenades landed meters away from her. The RT crew was forced to take shelter behind a parked car.

A RIA Novosti journalist reported from East Jerusalem that police were knocking phones from the hands of  reporters while dispersing the crowd.

Thousands gathered at a massive anti-Israel rally in Istanbul, Turkey, with some of the protesters wearing green Hamas headbands and holding placards that read: “Al-Quds [Arabic name for Jerusalem] is the red line for Muslims.”

Hundreds of people flocked to the streets of Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, unfurling a huge Palestinian flag and shouting anti-American slogans. Demonstrators, many of whom were raising guns, accused “Israeli Zionists” of seizing Jerusalem and blamed Trump for “complicity with the Arab rulers and regimes that failed their peoples.”

In Gaza, hundreds of rioters amassed in at least eight separate locations on the border with Israel, the IDF said. The Palestinians were throwing stones and burning tires, with Israeli forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets in response.

Dozens of people were wounded during riots in Bethlehem Saturday, the Palestinian Health ministry said as cited by WAFA. Israeli security forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets when the crowd approached an Israeli military base in the city.

Palestinian news agency WAFA said that mounted police ran people over in Jerusalem, including journalists.

More than 1,100 people were injured in the Friday clashes in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian health ministry as cited by Sputnik news agency.

Mounted police deployed in East Jerusalem dispersed the Palestinians, who attempted to block traffic on the city’s main thoroughfare, Salah ad Din Street.

Hundreds of Palestinian protestors took to the streets of East Jerusalem to once again denounce Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At least two Palestinians were killed Friday during the 'Day of Rage' protests across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

A 30-year-old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli fire during protests in Gaza Friday, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, citing the Palestinian Health Ministry. Another 54-year-old Gaza resident died, after being wounded earlier Friday, Al Jazeera reports.

The Red Crescent charity said their ground staff treated at least 767 injuries. Israeli forces fired live munition and rubber bullets to suppress Palestinian rage, triggered by Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Wednesday.

08 December 2017

Palestinian delegation at UN say decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "disqualifies" the US has a broker for peace.

Ambassadors to UN from Britain, Sweden, France, Japan and Italy criticize President Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision. 

UK ambassador Matthew Rycroft appeals for calm. 

Palestinian Health Ministry reporting that at least 25 people wounded in Israeli air strikes, including six children.

Israeli aircraft have bombed an alleged Hamas training compound in the Gaza Strip. Announcing the strike on Twitter, the IDF said it holds Hamas “solely responsible for all hostile acts against Israel” from the region.

Around 750 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli security forces, according to the latest figures from the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the US is no longer a legitimate broker of Israeli-Palestinian peace following President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision.

"We reject the American decision over Jerusalem. With this position the United States has become no longer qualified to sponsor the peace process,” Abbas said in a statement.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has said he will not talk with the US until the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is reversed. The diplomat issued the statement in an interview with Al Jazeera TV.  

A demonstration has begun outside the US Embassy in London to protest against Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

American ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has defended the US against accusations it has compromised its position as a mediator for Middle East peace, saying that her country has not taken a position on Jerusalem boundaries and is not advocating changes to arrangements of holy sites.  

Haley said the US is committed to the peace process but added that Israel “will never be bullied into an agreement by the UN or by any collection of countries that have proven their disregard for Israel's security."

The Israeli security forces report that a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip. Air raid sirens were heard in areas around Bnei Shimon in southern Israel.

Britain’s UN Ambassador Karen Pierce says her country “strongly encourages” the US to bring forward a detailed proposal for a peace settlement in the Middle East. Pierce made the statement amidst rising tensions across the region following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, according to the country's military. 

Israel Defense Forces reports that air raid sirens have sounded in cities and towns bordering northern Gaza.

One of Egypt’s top imams has turned down a request to meet US Vice-President Mike Pence following the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said he would not meet Donald Trump’s right-hand man at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo on December 20 – unless the president reverses his decision, according to Reuters.

A man has been critically injured in Gaza following clashes with Israeli security forces. The Palestinian Health Ministry had reported that the man had died, but a correction stated that while the man’s heart had stopped, it is now going again.

Soldiers have been patrolling the streets around Al-Aqsa Mosque. Footage from the area shows Israeli forces manhandling a group of men as they force them out of a public toilet.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reportedly named the man killed during clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border.

Footage from Damascus Gate in Jerusalem shows Israeli forces wrestling a man to the ground, sparking near-pandemonium at the ancient site.

Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian man near the Gaza border as clashes continue over Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to Reuters, citing the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Turkey Monday to discuss the Jerusalem issue with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He and Putin held a phone call Thursday during which they agreed the move will deal a heavy blow to peace and stability in the region.

More than 200 people have been treated for injuries related to clashes in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including seven injured by live fire, according to reports.

Journalist Dov Lieber, the Arab affairs correspondent for the Times of Israel, cites figures from the Red Crescent, which says its crews have treated 217 people. Some 162 people have reportedly been treated for tear gas inhalation and another 45 for rubber bullet injuries.

More than 3,000 people gathered outside a mosque in Istanbul’s Fatih district after Friday prayers. A state-run television station reported similar protests in the capital Ankara where people were reportedly heard outside the US embassy, chanting: “USA, take your bloodied hands off Jerusalem.”

More than 5,000 people have marched in the streets of Beirut. The demonstration took place near the Palestinian refugee camp of Chatilla after Friday prayers and carried on toward a nearby cemetery. The crowd later peacefully dispersed, according to the Associated Press.

Hundreds of Palestinian refugees were killed when a Lebanese Christian militia allied to Israel invaded the Chatilla refugee camp, as well as the nearby camp of Sabra, in 1982.

Meanwhile, an image obtained by RT.com shows heavily armed Israeli forces seemingly tackling a Palestinian man to the ground at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. In another image from the sacred site, a poster of Donald Trump, with his head painted around the mouth of a urinal, is held aloft.

Footage from a rally in Nablus in the northern West Bank shows hundreds of Palestinian protesters marching behind flags while a man bellows into a loudspeaker.

Hamas military leaders have held a rally at the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Footage of Thursday’s event shows armed and masked men travelling in truck beds before Hamas field commander Abu Hamza makes his address to the crowd.

"We are coming, Jerusalem, we will not concede one grain of sand, and the soldiers of Hamas will come to raise the flag above the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said. “Jerusalem is ours, not for darkness.”

Hundreds of people have marched through the streets of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The demonstration began after Friday prayers and carried on through the center of the city. Protesters chanted “America is the head of the snake” while holding posters of King Abdullah II and the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, according to the Associated Press.

Al-Qaeda has urged its followers to attack the US, its allies and Israel following the Jerusalem decision. The Associated Press reported the militant group made the call via its as-Sahab media arm Friday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Speaking at a news conference in Vienna, where he is attending a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Lavrov said the announcement “runs counter to common sense.”

Iranian State TV has broadcast footage of hundreds of protesters burning effigies of Donald Trump while chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” in several cities across the country. Reuters reports that marchers could also be seen holding up banners reading ‘Quds belongs to Muslims’ – the Arabic name for the city.

Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami also reportedly called for Muslims around the world to unite against Israel. Khatami was speaking at Friday prayers at Tehran University where worshippers were also heard to chant: “We will not leave Palestinians alone.”

Israeli forces have fired tear gas from an armored vehicle in Bethlehem on the West Bank. Armed soldiers have formed columns on the street, firing single rounds of rubber bullets into the crowds of Palestinian protesters opposite.

Palestinian activists have taken to the streets of the West Bank to protest the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israeli police preparing for a Palestinian "day of rage" increased their presence in Jerusalem Friday, but set no extra restrictions on access for worshippers at the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque, saying it had no indication of unrest there, Reuters reports.

Palestinian factions have called for demonstrations in response to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has urged Palestinians to launch a new intifada.

Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia joined protest rallies and US embassies have tightened their security across the Middle East. At least 31 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli troops Thursday in the occupied West Bank and over the Israel-Gaza border. Protests also took place in Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and Tunisia.

At times of heightened tension between Israel and the Palestinians, violence has erupted after Friday prayers at the Jerusalem compound where Al Aqsa is located – atop a hill known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount. Frequently Israel has imposed age restrictions on those admitted to the site, when it has expected clashes.

"We have no indication there will be disturbances on the mount therefore there is no age restriction. If there will be disturbances then we will respond immediately," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

07 December 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in a phone call that Trump’s decision on Jerusalem will negatively impact peace and stability in the region and agreed that further escalation of tension in the Middle East cannot be tolerated. Putin and Erdogan underlined that efforts should be focussed on finding a compromise on Jerusalem’s status, according to reports. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pope Francis have reportedly agreed during a phone call that any attempts to change Jerusalem’s status should be avoided, according to Reuters, which cites sources in Erdogan’s office. The two leaders reportedly emphasized the sacredness of the city to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has backed calls by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to launch a new uprising against Israel. Nasrallah called for unity and support for the new intifada, saying “we are facing blatant American aggression”.

READ MORE: Hezbollah’s Nasrallah backs call for new Palestinian intifada

The Israeli Defense Forces says the two rockets launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip did not cross into Israeli territory.

An Israeli app which monitors sirens has registered rocket fire into Israel near the Gaza strip. The IDF says while there has been no confirmation of a hit, a red alert has been enabled in the settlement Hof Ashkelon.

Translation: Preliminary report: red alert is enabled in the Hof Ashkelon regional councils and the Negev. Testing details

Translation: To report: two launches from the Gaza Strip towards Israel State. The falls were identified in the Gaza Strip

READ MORE: Siren app says rockets fired into Israel near Gaza strip, IDF says red alert enabled in Hof Ashkelon

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli military during a rally in Bethlehem earlier Thursday. Protesters set fire to tires and threw rocks while soldiers responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, resulting in at least 31 injuries.

Asked about Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her Wednesday comments by saying Germany does not support Trump’s decision.

"We're sticking to the relevant UN resolutions - they make clear that the status of Jerusalem needs to be negotiated as part of negotiations on a two-state solution for Israel and that's why we want this process to be revived," she said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Trump’s decision as an “unacceptable crime” before praising the nations which have denounced the move.

"Fortunately, there was a positive response from all the countries in the world, from Europe and from Africa and countries close to America that don't support the US," said Abbas, at a meeting with the king of Jordan Thursday, reports AP.  

"These all are messages to Trump that what he did is an unacceptable crime," he said, adding that Palestine is rallying Arab support before they deliver a formal response.

It’s been a day of clashes across the West Bank as Palestinians and Israeli soldiers faced off on the streets. Tear gas, as well as live and rubber bullets, have been deployed, leaving dozens injured.

The number of people injured by the Israeli army has risen to at least 31. Several Palestinian protesters were wounded by army gunfire and rubber bullets during clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Thursday.

In Hebron and Al-Bireh, thousands of demonstrators rallied with chants of "Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine," witnesses said. Protesters could be seen throwing stones at soldiers. As night falls, the region remains on edge.

Israeli Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin said Russia should follow the US’ example and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Russia has stated that it sees Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, so the move would be natural, he told RIA Novosti.

Moscow believes that Jerusalem should be divided between Israel and a future Palestinian state, with both nations considering the city their capital, and does not recognize Israel’s occupation of Eastern Jerusalem. The Russian Foreign Ministry believes its embassy in Israel should be moved only after the conflict over the status of the city is resolved.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Donald Trump of “trampling on international laws” following his administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Reuters reports. The Turkish president’s comments presumably refer to the 1980 UN resolution on the status of the city.

Armed police on horseback are patrolling the streets of Jerusalem following clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces across the city today.

Design company Javelin Block is one of hundreds caught up in the clashes and posting footage to Instagram.

Some 17 people have been injured by Israeli army gunfire, according to Reuters which cites medics on the scene. Clashes erupted between the military and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday in response to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital on Wednesday.

At least one protester was hit by live fire, while 14 others were wounded by rubber bullets. Soldiers used “riot-dispersal gear” against hundreds of protesters throwing rocks at army personnel, according to a military spokeswoman.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah parliamentary bloc has issued a scathing attack on President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reports Reuters.

The political party and militant group called it the “worst and most dangerous” decision ever from a US administration. It will have “catastrophic repercussions” which threaten international security and stability, it claims resistance is the only way to recover rights, says the group, because the US has removed the avenue of negotiation.

Extremist group al-Shabab is urging Muslims to take up weapons in response to President Trump.

Spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud is urging “all Muslims to raise arms and defend the blessed al-Aqsa from the Zionist occupiers supported by America, because what was taken by force can only be restored by force.” The message was carried on the group’s website.

'Reckless threat to peace': British politicians react to Trump​'s decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has criticized US President Donald Trump for his Jerusalem decision, saying it was “not helpful” for the peace process in the Middle East. He said the US should instead show leadership in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, which he believes should be done as soon as possible.

Hundreds of protesters have gathered at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, while others are marching in the streets of Bethlehem, all to voice opposition to President Trump’s recent declaration.

Moscow is “seriously concerned” over Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The new US position on Jerusalem may further complicate Palestinian-Israeli relations and the situation in the whole region, the ministry added.

“Thus, we urge all sides involved to exercise restraint and refrain from actions fraught with dangerous and uncontrollable consequences,” the statement said.

Instagram users and others on social media have been sharing footage of the continuing clashes in Bethlehem between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators.

Live footage from the Bethlehem protests has shown ambulances arriving on the scene.

Trump’s Jerusalem move could “send us backwards to even darker times” EU Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini said at a press briefing Thursday.

"The European Union has a clear and united position. We believe the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states and with Jerusalem as the capital of both," said Mogherini.

Mogherini said she would meet Jordan's foreign minister on Friday, while she and EU foreign ministers would discuss Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday.  

Footage from the West Bank shows police and protesters clashing amid growing unrest over the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Police can be seen firing tear gas as crowds grow.

WATCH: In the UK, MPs are debating the controversial Jerusalem decision. The British government disagrees with the US move, but says it will continue to support efforts to bring peace to the region.

The House of Commons has heard renewed calls for the invitation to President Trump to visit the UK to be retracted.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the US ambassador in Baghdad to protest Trump’s Jerusalem decision. The office will hand over a memo officially voicing its opposition to Wednesday’s announcement.

Iraq’s top Shiite Cleric Ali al-Sistani has condemned President Trump’s decision to break from international protocol and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani said Trump’s decision "hurts the feelings of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims."

The Israeli military is reinforcing troops in the West Bank and putting additional forces on standby. The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Hamas’s call for an intifada Thursday.

Several army battalions are being deployed and other forces put on standby, a military statement said, calling the measures "part of the IDF's (Israel Defence Forces) readiness for possible developments."

Saudi royal court has condemned Trump administration decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Hamas has called for a new intifada against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

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

READ MORE: Hamas leader calls for 'new intifada in the face of Israel'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that "many" countries would follow the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and that such contacts were already under way.

Speaking at Israel's Foreign Ministry, Netanyahu did not name any of these countries. He said some might relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before the U.S. move, which the Trump administration expects to take several years.

The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has called for a “new intifada in the face of Israel”, Reuters reports.

The United Arab Emirates also criticized the decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, UAE state news agency said, according to Reuters.

Iraq has demanded the US reverse its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Reuters reports, citing the Iraqi government.

“We caution against the dangerous repercussions of this decision on the stability of the region and the world,” a government statement reads. “The US administration has to backtrack on this decision to stop any dangerous escalation that would fuel extremism and create conditions favorable to terrorism.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital completely disregards a 1980 UN resolution on the status of the city. 

“Taking such a step throws this region into a circle of fire,” the president told supporters at the Ankara airport before departing to Greece for an official visit.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemned Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and urged the US to “reconsider the decision,” which, according to the leader of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, could “rock global security and stability.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has urged Muslims worldwide to strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “I call on all Muslims across the world to let your voices be heard, make it clear that we strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital for all time,” Najib said in a speech at an annual gathering of the ruling party in Kuala Lumpur, as cited by Reuters.

East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque has plunged into darkness after the Islamic Waqf ordered the lights illuminating it to be switched off, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as the capital of Israel.

Saudi Arabia criticised Trump's decision to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling it an "irresponsible and unwarranted" step.

"The Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem,"said a Saudi royal court statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. "The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had previously warned of the serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step."

06 December 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his disapproval of Trump’s decision on Twitter.

“France does not approve the decision of the United States. France supports the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states. We must privilege appeasement and dialogue,” he said.

A general strike has been called by all Palestinian factions in protest of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Midday rallies are due to take place Thursday.

The Palestinian education ministry declared a day off and urged teachers as well as high school and university students to take part in the planned rallies in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Palestinian areas in Jerusalem.

Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus' traditional birthplace in Bethlehem in protest on Wednesday night.

The UN Security Council is likely to meet Friday, according to diplomats who say that a meeting has been requested by half of the council’s members, Reuters reports.

The request for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the Security Council meeting was reportedly made by France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay.

Protests have reportedly broken out in Amman, Jordan, where many Palestinian refugees now live having once been located in the West Bank. According to Reuters, Palestinian protesters could be heard shouting: “Down with America”. The conclusion of the Six-Day War in 1967 resulted in Israel capturing parts of the West Bank once held by Jordan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has released a statement saying she “does not support” the US government’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Saudi King Salman has received a call from Turkish President Erdogan to discuss today’s “developments,” according to the Saudi Spa news agency.

Morocco has summoned the US Charge D’Affaires in response to its deep concerns over Trump’s decision, according to the country’s state news agency.

Trump has called on Saudi Arabia to break its blockade of Yemen and immediately allow essential provisions to reach people inside the besieged country. 

“I have directed officials in my administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it," Trump said in a statement.

The EU has expressed “serious concern” in the wake of Trump’s decision “on Jerusalem and the repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace”, according to a statement from EU Vice-President Federica Mogherini. 

“The EU calls on all actors on the ground and in the wider region to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation,” the statement adds. “The focus should remain on creating conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations that can resolve all final status issues.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that the Palestinian cause will remain a collective concern among Arabs until a Palestinian state is created with Jerusalem as its capital.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was designed to reflect the city’s position as home to the country’s major government bodies. In a statement published to the State Department website, Tillerson also said that the president consulted with “friends, partners and allies” before making the decision. 

“We firmly believe there is an opportunity for a lasting peace,” he added.  

A Jordanian government spokesperson said the country rejects Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem, and the move is not legally valid because it “consolidates Israeli occupation on eastern sector of city” and violates “international legitimacy”, according to comments cited by Reuters.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry says it will keep its embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has claimed the US decision threatens stability and reduces the prospect of peace in the region. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made similar remarks, saying the situation is a “dangerous escalation and death sentence for all who seek peace.”

Meanwhile, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has warned Donald Trump of the “dangerous consequences” of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi is speaking to Abbas by phone to discuss the repercussions of the US embassy relocation, according to an Egyptian statement cited by Reuters.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused the US of abdicating its role as peacemaker in the Middle East. Calling the decision a “reward to Israel,” Abbas added that acknowledging Jerusalem as the Israeli capital will only serve to fuel “terrorist groups who wish to turn conflict in our region into a vicious war.”

Abbas also made reference to the significance of Jerusalem, calling it “the eternal capital of Palestine.”

Qatar’s foreign minister has called Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem a “dangerous escalation and death sentence for all who seek peace”, Al Jazeera reports.

Turkey’s foreign ministry has condemned the move as “irresponsible” and has called on Washington to reconsider its decision.

"We condemn the irresponsible statement of the U.S. administration... declaring that it recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it will be moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We call upon the US Administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem."

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu echoed the sentiments in a tweet.

Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat believes the Trump administration’s decision has “destroyed any possibility” of a two-state solution. “President Trump has disqualified the United States of America from playing any role in any peace process,” Erekat said.

Egypt has rejected the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Meanwhile Hamas has called the move a flagrant aggression on the Palestinian people, according to Reuters.  

French President Emmanuel Macron refused to support Trump's "unilateral" decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Speaking from Algiers, where he is on a diplomatic visit, Macron called the declaration "regrettable" before reiterating calls for the status of Jerusalem to be determined by Israelis and Palestinians through negotiations.  

"This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council," Macron told reporters at a news conference.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called Trump’s remarks a “historic landmark” and urged other countries to follow suit by moving their embassies to Jerusalem. The Israeli prime minister added that any future peace deal with Palestinians must include Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

Israeli Minister for Education Naftali Bennett is the first to thank Trump for acknowledging Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Bennett says that today is a “shiny day” for the Jewish people, according to Reuters.

Trump says US is committed to securing a peace agreement for both Israel and Palestine. “The US would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides,” he says, adding that Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Middle East to reaffirm US commitment in the region in coming days.

Speaking at the White House, Trump acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,” he says.

US diplomatic staff are to suspend non-essential travel to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank until at least December 20, according to a cable seen by Reuters. No reason was given for the request.

The decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is “long overdue,” Trump said, as cited by Reuters reporter Steve Holland.

Abbas will deliver a televised address after Trump’s speech on Jerusalem later this evening, according to Palestinian officials.

Hamas has called on its supporters to become involved in protests over the coming days. Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official, told Reuters that Palestinians were “on a dangerous crossroad today; we either remain or perish.” He added that “Trump or anyone thinking that our people, nation and resistance are unable to push back his plans is wrong.”

Members of the Jordanian parliament have been pictured demonstrating outside the US embassy in the capital, Amman. The signs held by the protesters read: “We denounce and condemn the US administration’s reckless decision.”

The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting this weekend to discuss the Trump administration’s plans to recognize Jerusalem, according to Ambassador Diab al-Louh, the head of the Palestinian delegation to the body. The meeting, which was requested by both the Palestinians and Jordan, will take place at 3pm Saturday.

The Arab League is a 22-member organization made up of Arab nations from across North Africa and Arabia, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Speaking at a joint press conference alongside King Abdullah II of Jordan in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said: “Any step to change the legal status of Jerusalem should be avoided. No one has the right to interfere with the lives of millions of people.”

After promising to safeguard religious sites in the city, King Abdullah echoed Erdogan’s statement, saying: “There is no alternative to the two-state solution. Jerusalem is key to the security of the entire region.”

Hundreds of Palestinians have reportedly gathered in Gaza to protest the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Protesters brandishing banners calling Jerusalem “our eternal capital” also burned American and Israeli flags at the demonstration, according to AP. The protests are part of the “three days of rage” announced by Palestinian factions.

The US consulate in Jerusalem has issued new safety guidelines to American citizens in the city. These include a ban on personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank. Essential travel by official government employees is permitted, but only with “additional security measures,” the consulate said in a statement on Twitter. 

“United States citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence,” the statement reads.

Donald Trump is scheduled to make the announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a speech at the White House at 1pm local time (18:00 GMT). The president is also expected to direct the State Department to begin looking for a suitable site for the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Rex Tillerson believes there is a “very good opportunity” for peace in the Middle East. Speaking in Brussels, the diplomat backed US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to succeed with the peace effort, adding that Kushner is working “very diligently” to achieve it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she intends to speak to Trump about the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Speaking in Parliament, she reiterated her country’s commitment to a two-state solution and said the fate of the city should be determined as part of an overall settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.  

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah believes the announcement will “destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.” Hamdallah met with European diplomats Wednesday and said he expects the decision “will fuel conflict and increase violence in the entire region.”

He also called on European countries to recognize the statehood of Palestine on lands captured by Israel in 1967, according to AP. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will reportedly hold a meeting of key advisors following Trump’s formal announcement, which is expected to come later today.  

Pope Francis says he’s “profoundly concerned” about the developments, adding that Jerusalem is a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims. The pontiff made the comments during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

Urging all parties to respect “the status quo of the city” according to UN resolutions, Pope Francis said he hoped that wisdom and prudence would prevail and prevent fresh global conflicts.

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. “That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem, according to his official website.

Erdogan has called an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss Jerusalem’s status. The OIC, which is made up of 57 member states including the UAE, Iran and Saudi Arabia, will meet on December 13 in Istanbul.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has tweeted a picture from his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels. Çavuşoğlu said he reminded the US diplomat that the decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be a “grave mistake and would bring chaos instead of stability to the region.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel over the move, saying it would be a “red line” for Muslims. He made the statement in a series of tweets Tuesday in which he also labelled US support for Israel “a violation of international law.

China, too, has expressed concerns over “possible aggravation of regional tensions” following reports of the US decision. Calling the Jerusalem issue “complicated and sensitive,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that “all sides should focus on regional peace and tranquility act with caution, and avoid sabotaging the foundation for the settlement of Palestinian issues.”

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will “wait and see” what US President Donald Trump says in a speech later today, but has urged the US to bring forward its proposals for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

"That should happen as a matter of priority," he said. The UK’s top diplomat was speaking alongside US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a NATO event in Brussels.