Trump Jerusalem Move Triggers Palestinian Unrest

   •    08 Desember 2017 11:33 WIB
palestine
Trump Jerusalem Move Triggers Palestinian Unrest
Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Bethelem following the policy shift, which ended decades of US ambiguity on the status of Jerusalem. (Photo: AFP / Thomas COEX)

West Bank: Furious Palestinians have called for a "day of rage" on Friday as protests spread against US President Donald Trump's widely criticised recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

A senior Palestinian official said late Thursday US Vice President Mike Pence was "not welcome in Palestine" following the policy shift, which ended decades of US ambiguity on the status of the disputed city.

But the White House said it would be "counterproductive" to cancel a scheduled meeting between Pence and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas later this month.

Sporadic clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces on Thursday, as Israel deployed hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank amid uncertainty over the fallout.

Trump's announcement was met by an almost universal diplomatic backlash as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lavished praise on the president, saying his name would be associated with Jerusalem's long history and urging other countries to follow suit.

In a speech in Gaza City, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for a new intifada, or uprising. Within hours several projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said.

One hit Israeli territory, prompting the army and air force to retaliate by targeting "two terror posts" in Gaza, it said, blaming Hamas, the enclave's Islamist rulers.

Demonstrations were held in West Bank cities as well as in Gaza, where five Palestinians were wounded from Israeli fire, Gazan authorities said.

Israeli forces dispersed tear gas at a checkpoint entrance to Ramallah, while the Palestinian Red Crescent reported 22 wounded from live fire or rubber bullets in the West Bank.


Sporadic clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces. (AFP)

'Darker Times'

Trump said his defiant move -- making good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge -- marks the start of a "new approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"It is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," he said Wednesday.

But his willingness to part with international consensus on such a sensitive issue drew increasingly urgent warnings from around the world.

EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the decision could take the region "backwards to even darker times".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was "deeply concerned", calling for the Palestinians and Israel to renew negotiations.

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would put the region in a "ring of fire".

 


(WIL)