Palestinians protest against U.S. Jerusalem recognition plan


A general view of Jerusalem's old city is seen on April 14, 2014 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)


Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza city Wednesday against a possible move by the U.S. to change the status quo of Jerusalem.

Demonstrators marched from Al-Saraya square in central Gaza towards the unknown Soldier square in the west side of the city in response to calls by the Palestinian national factions.

The angered Palestinians shouted slogans against Trump’s potential move to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or move the U.S. embassy to the city, raising Palestinian flags and slogans saying “To Trump: Jerusalem is a Red Line” and “We shall protect Jerusalem with our souls and bodies.”

Islamic Hamas movement senior figure Salah Al-Bardaweel told Xinhua during the march that this angry demonstration “is one step in a series of steps that we will launch alongside Arab and Islamic states against the U.S. decision regarding Jerusalem.”

He described the American moves on Jerusalem as “very dangerous on the Palestinian issue and an attack on our holy Qur’an, history, heart and soul.”

Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al-Batsh told Xinhua the U.S. decision “assures the failure of the peace process.”

He called for cutting ties with the U.S. by the Arabs and Muslims, withdraw recognition of Israel and pull out of the Oslo accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel in 1993.

Mohammad Al-Helou, an elderly Palestinian citizen who took part in the demonstration regardless of the rainy weather told Xinhua “we tell Trump that we reject concession of Jerusalem, which is the capital of the future Palestinian state.”

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As part of the wide protests, social media activists highlighted the use of social media campaigns under the hashtag (#Jerusalem_Is_Our_Capital) and (#HandoffJerusalem).

In his office in West Bank city Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah convened representatives of the diplomatic corpse and the European Union representative over the possible U.S. step.

He said in an emailed press statement that such a move “would inflame violence in the entire region because Jerusalem is not only important to the Palestinians alone, but also Arabs and Muslims, who reject this decision.”

Hamdallah urged the EU states to recognise Palestine as a state in order to save the two-state solution and the peace process and to exert pressure to implement international legitimacy resolutions.

Tensions have been mounting in Palestine amid Trump’s intention to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinians have strongly condemned and rejected Trump’s decision, and called for days of rage all over the Palestinian territories against Trump’s plan.

In November, the U.S. government shut down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, a step that the Palestinians called “punitive.”

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