Jerusalem: Hamas leader calls for uprising in 'day of rage' after Donald Trump's declaration

Jerusalem: Hamas leader calls for uprising in 'day of rage' after Donald Trump's declaration

Jerusalem: Hamas leader calls for uprising in 'day of rage' after Donald Trump's declaration

Updated 7 December 2017, 22:50 AEDT

The Palestinian militant group Hamas calls for a new uprising against Israel after US Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for a new uprising against Israel after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Key points

  • Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital seen by Palestinians as end to peace process
  • Jerusalem is contested by Israelis and Palestinians
  • Militant group Hamas calls for "day of rage" to begin an uprising against Israel

The move broke tradition with decades of US policy and has resulted in widespread international condemnation.

Jerusalem is a sacred site for Jews, Muslims and Christians and has been contested by Israelis and Palestinians since the 1947 UN plan on partition.

"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.

The Arabic "intifada" literally translates to "uprising", but has been used to define two key periods of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

The first intifada began in the late 1980s but consisted largely of rock throwing, while the second intifada began in 2000 and killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings.

The Hamas group, which has a complicated leadership structure and militant wing, has won Palestinian legislative elections and administers the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israel and the United States consider Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2007, a terrorist organisation.

It does not recognise Israel's right to exist and its suicide bombings helped spearhead the last intifada.

Mr Haniyeh — elected the group's overall leader in May — urged Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs to hold rallies against the US decision on Friday (local time), calling it a "day of rage".

"Let December 8 be the first day of the intifada against the occupier," he said.

Mr Haniyeh called on Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from peacemaking with Israel and on Arabs to boycott the Trump administration.

Schools and shops were closed in the West Bank the day following the decision as Palestinians protested the move.

Muslim world united in opposition to move

Condemnation of Mr Trump's declaration has been loud and swift, coming from all over the world.

Saudi Arabia's royal court, led by King Salman and his powerful son, added its voice to those opposed to the Trump administration's decision.

Saudi Arabia, a regional powerhouse that could help the White House push through a Middle East settlement, said the kingdom had already warned against this step and "continues to express its deep regret at the US administration's decision", describing it "unjustified and irresponsible".

Mr Trump's move puts the Sunni nation in a bind.

The kingdom, particularly its powerful crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman, enjoys close relations with Mr Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who already warned moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a "red line" for Muslims, accused his American counterpart of throwing the Middle East into a "ring of fire".

Mr Erdogan also compared Mr Trump to a "blender" that was stirring up trouble in the region.

Yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said many countries would follow the US.

"I have no doubt that the moment the American Embassy moves to Jerusalem, and even before then, there will be a movement of many embassies to Jerusalem. The time has come," Mr Netanyahu said.


AP/Reuters