The Palestinian group Hamas has called for a new uprising against Israel after the move by US President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The controversial and ‘reckless’ decision by Trump, according to political analysts, is a historic blunder and will potentially plunge the entire region and the world into a fire.
"We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy," said Hamas leader Ismail Haniya. He further noted that the Palestinian cause was now at a critical juncture, and Trump’s move has set in motion a new chapter in Palestinian policy.
Calling for a new strategy to deal with the ‘new plot’ against Palestinians, Haniya said that "the only way to deal with the Zionist policy, which has backing from the United States, is sparking a new intifada against the occupation and welcoming resistance to this occupation.”
Massive clashes have erupted between Palestinian protestors and Israeli police in Bethlehem in protest against the move by US. Jerusalem's status is an extremely sensitive part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and no country currently has its embassy in the city. Palestinians have long considered East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The decision by Trump administration has been denounced by leaders across the globe, including the United Nations.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was "a moment of great anxiety". He said "there is no alternative to the two-state solution".
Pope Francis called for the city's "status quo" to be respected, saying new tensions in the Middle East would further inflame world conflicts.
British leader Theresa May disagreed with the US decision, which was "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron both said that their countries did not support the move. Canada said its embassy won't move to Jerusalem.
EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced "serious concern".
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on Muslims worldwide to "make it clear that we strongly oppose" the US move. Indonesia's President Joko Widodo too slammed the US decision.
Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas called the decision "deplorable" and said it will not change Jerusalem's status as the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine".
Lebanon's pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbar newspaper declared "Death to America" on its front page on Thursday.
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran "will not tolerate a violation of Islamic sanctities. Muslims must stand united against this major plot".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the US decision was not only a violation of international law but also a severe blow to the conscience of humanity. Demonstrations erupted outside the US consulate in Istanbul.
Kuwait and Qatar, besides China and Pakistan, also came out against the US move.
India declined to comment and issued an ambiguous statement that its position on Palestine "is independent and consistent”. It is interesting to note that after the conservative right-wing government led by Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, India’s position regarding Palestine has witnessed a pro-Israel shift.
Meanwhile, UN Security Council will discuss the issue on Friday after eight of the 15 nations called for an emergency session. The Arab League will meet on Saturday.
(with inputs from IANS)