December 11, The Iran Project – In a speech on Wednesday (Dec6), US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and directed the State Department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city.
Leaders from the Muslim world and the wider international community were swift to blast Trump’s decision, which marks a controversial shift in the US foreign policy and threatens further inflammation of the tensions.
Violent clashes broke out in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday, with Israeli forces injuring dozens of Palestinian protesters.
From Europe to the Middle East to Australia, US allies and adversaries alike lined up to condemn Trump’s decision. World leaders painted the decision as unilateral and outside the vision of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians and warned of heightened tensions or even violence across the Middle East.
British Prime Minister Theresa May swiftly “disagreed” with Trump’s decision, saying in a statement that Jerusalem’s fate should be decided as “a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
“We regard East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” May said in the statement.
Muslim World Criticism
Still, the move has drawn criticism across the Muslim world, where demonstrators turned out in greater force on Friday. Hundreds protested outside the US embassies in Malaysia and Indonesia. Protesters also gathered in Baghdad, southern Lebanon and Iran, Hezbollah-affiliated Mayadeen TV reported.
Hundreds of protesters poured out of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo after Friday prayers, some carrying Palestinian flags and chanting, “with soul, with blood, we will avenge you, oh Palestine.”
In Tunisia, President Beji Caid Essebsi summoned the US ambassador to complain about the decision, adviser Noureddine Ben Ticha told Radio Chams.
Thousands of Shia Houthis protested in Yemen, including in the capital, Sana’a, and other cities, according to the rebel-affiliated al-Masirah TV. Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi called on Arabs to besiege US embassies until the decision on Jerusalem was reversed, it reported.
Meanwhile, Iranian people rallied in all cities across the country, protesting the US president’s move. Iranian citizens from all walks of life joined the worshipers of Friday prayers in the afternoon just after the conclusion of Friday prayers rituals.
Second Balfour Declaration
In another development, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Trump’s decision to formally recognize the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as Israel’s capital, threatens to completely wipe out the Palestinian cause and any possibility of a Palestinian state.
Nasrallah also described Trump’s announcement as a “second Balfour Declaration”, coming 100 years after the first, when Britain declared its aim to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
The Hezbollah leader also said Trump’s controversial decision poses a major danger to Muslim & Christian sanctities in the holy city, particularly the al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites.
“kiss of death”
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s top representative in the US says the formal recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital will be the “kiss of death” to so-called peace efforts.
“That would be actually the kiss of death to the two-state solution because Jerusalem is at the very heart of the two-state solution,” said Husam Zomlot.
He added that such a move would have “catastrophic consequences,” and that the PLO’s response would be “strategic and political.”
“Moving embassy crosses every red line”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has also warned that such a move would seriously heighten regional tensions.
“The American administration’s recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the occupation’s capital and moving its embassy to Jerusalem crosses every red line,” said Hamas chief Ismail Haniya.
“Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem is a dangerous escalation and provides cover for the extremist government of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to carry out its plan to Judaize the city of Jerusalem.
Fueling Regional Fire
The move also was widely slammed by several top Iranian officials and clerics nationwide.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Trump’s incorrect choice to transfer American embassy to al-Quds will add fuel to the regional fire, while noting London and Tehran dialogue can lead to cooperation for more stability in the region.
Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri condemned Trump’s decision to saying the move violates international resolutions and the rights of the Palestinians.
Baqeri said that Muslims would not allow a part of the Islamic world to be separated from its body. Arab and Muslim governments “face a historical and decisive test,” he said, adding “history will judge about their silence or support for the Muslim nations against the Zionist regime.”
The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Jerusalem al-Quds will turn into a graveyard for the Israeli regime.
“The US and the Zionist regime [of Israel] have committed their most historic folly vis-à-vis al-Quds, and with the grace of God, al-Quds will become a graveyard for the fake regime of Israel,” he added.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani denounced a recent move by Trump over US embassy relocation as “unwise” and said it hurt the feelings of all Muslims around the world.
Larijani pointed to the latest developments in the region and world and said, “None of the recent regional developments has hurt the hearts of Muslims as much as the US president’s clumsy move to order the relocation of the country’s embassy to Quds.”
The senior Sunni Iranian cleric Molavi Abdolhamid also urged Muslim leaders to become united vis-a-vis US decision on Holy al-Quds.
Abdolhamid described President Trump’s decision on relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Beit-ul Moqaddas as dangerous, warning the US over the consequences of it.
For sure, the move violates international resolutions and the rights of the Palestinians and undoubtedly would unit Islamic world against America’s aggressive intervention.
Moving US embassy also indicated that the American officials are serving the Zionists interests instead of their own nation’s and the measure not only violating the interests of a specific country, but the whole world.