Sweeping Backlash to Trump's Jerusalem Decision — China State Media

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

The 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 President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine" and that Mr Trump's move was "tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator".

On Jerusalem, Trump had pledged during the 2016 campaign to recognize Israel's claim to the city and to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

I will admit that I do not have confidence in this administration to succeed where others have failed.

The First Infatida - meaning "tremor" in Arabic - lasted from December 1987 to 1993, claiming the lives of 277 Israelis and 1,962 Palestinians.

"Confrontation is a legitimate right aiming to defend the occupied land of Palestine", he said.

This is because the current status of Jerusalem, despite being unfair and illegal, has kept tension within certain limits so far.

The American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and the Jewish Federations of North American also welcomed the president's announcement without reservations. President Obama, for all his hope, for all his support from journalists and common-sense analysts, left the Palestinians in the worst bargaining position they've ever had; not because of his policies regarding negotiations, but because of his general strategy in Middle East. After the Iran Deal and the Syrian civil war, the hardening of the Sunni states against Iranian hegemony has left the Palestinians with few allies and a hostile and restless region with bigger fish to fry; a region coming off a civil war which has created a refugee problem that deflection to Israel can't solve. It is generally acknowledged among the analytic class that to affirm what is obvious would bring great danger to a region which is already in great danger, or would put a stop to a peace process which is not yet in progress.

Malcolm Hoenlein, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Trump was doing "the right thing". "It would be better for us to wager on our political achievements and not on a third intifada". That would be a stinging rebuff to a president all about quelling threats to the U.S. and its allies such as Israel.

This is not the only illusion-or delusion, depending on your level of commitment to reality- which shrouds the city of Jerusalem in a mirage.

Israelis consider an undivided Jerusalem as their capital, and Trump wants to acquiesce in that view. They should say don't bother us, that's all we ask of you, to the U.S. and nationalists.

Mr Trump upended decades of US policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in the Middle East.

Some wondered whether there was a connection between the decision and Trump's tax plan. In Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government, protesters set tires on fire, sending a thick plume of black smoke over the city. Every year, on Yom Yerushalayim, the holiday marking the conquest of the Eastern part of the city by Israeli forces in 1967, marchers descend upon the streets of the capital city and celebrate the occasion.

"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.

"Jerusalem is a sensitive issue for all, so the Christian leaders, (following) the pope, are making an appeal to President Trump to be wise - there is a need for wisdom ... especially in such an explosive situation", he said. Palestinians want a state with their capital also in Jerusalem, a claim based on the city's back-and-forth history.

In Egypt, Al-Dustur's front page says: "Announcing the death of the Arabs". Even more curious is that the US responded to 9/11 by invading and occupying Iraq, making Muslims even more upset. "No more false news - Jerusalem is Israel's capital", Norm Coleman, the RJC's national chairman and a former Minnesota senator, said in a statement.

"It plays well with his base", Hooper said. Iranian-backed forces have several times attacked or imperiled US forces operating in the Middle East.

Trump insisted he was not trying to derail a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians.

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