Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:01 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:01 AM (IST)

Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising in reply to Trump’s Jerusalem plan

Calls for ‘day of rage’ today; Israeli military reinforces troops in West Bank
Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising in reply to Trump’s Jerusalem plan
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sling shot during clashes with Israeli troops following protests in the West Bank city of Ramallah. AFP

Jerusalem/Gaza, Dec 7

The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

The Israeli military said it was reinforcing troops in the occupied West Bank, deploying several new army battalions and putting other forces on standby, describing the measures as part of its “readiness for possible developments”. Protests so far have been scattered and largely non-violent.

But dozens of Palestinians gathered at two points on the Gaza border fence with Israel and threw rocks at soldiers on the other side. Inside Gaza, thousands of Palestinians rallied, some chanting: “Death to America! Death to the fool Trump!” and burning tyres.

Trump reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

The status of Jerusalem, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions, is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching 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. Haniyeh, elected the group’s overall leader in May, urged Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs to hold rallies against the US decision on Friday, calling it a “day of rage”.

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

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of an independent state of theirs to be in the city’s eastern sector.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hailed Trump’s announcement as a “historic landmark”, said on Thursday many countries would follow the US move and contacts were underway. He did not name the countries he was referring to. “President Trump has immortalised himself in the chronicles of our capital. His name will now be held aloft, alongside other names connected to the glorious history of Jerusalem and of our people,” he said in a speech at Israel’s Foreign Ministry. — Reuters

United Nations Security Council meets today

The United Nations Security Council has convened an emergency meeting on Friday after US President Donald Trump in a controversial move recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At least eight of the 15 members of the Security Council, including Britain and France, joined by other non-permanent members - Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay - asked for a special meeting of the top decision-making wing of the New York-headquartered world body.

EU for making Jerusalem capital for Palestinians too 

  • The EU’s top diplomat pledged on Thursday to reinvigorate diplomacy with Russia, the United States, Jordan and others to ensure Palestinians have a capital in Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump recognised the city as Israel’s capital
  • The European Union, a member of the Middle East Quartet along with the United States, the United Nations and Russia, believes it has a duty to make its voice heard as the Palestinians’ biggest aid donor and Israel’s top trade partner
  • “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,” EU foreign policy chief said
Jewish restaurant in Netherlands attacked

  • A man with a Palestinian flag yelling “God is great” was detained by police in the Netherlands on Thursday after smashing the windows of a kosher Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • The assailant wearing a black-and-white-checkered head scarf, smashed several windows of the restaurant HaCarmel before he was pushed to the ground and hand-cuffed by police
  • “We are disgusted,” the Organisation of Jewish Communities in The Netherlands said in a statement. The attack was “an act of revenge, meant to instil fear, and is no less than an act of terror” Reuters

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