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HAMAS leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new “Intifada,” or uprising, yesterday in response to US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were paralysed by a general strike called by the Palestinian Authority and protests continued for a second day over US President Donald Trump’s widely condemned announcement on Wednesday.
Demonstrators in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron burnt images of Mr Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with US and Israeli flags, while Israeli occupation forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds.
Humanitarian organisation the Palestinian Red Crescent said dozens suffered tear gas inhalation, six more were wounded by rubber bullets and one person from a bullet wound. The Israeli armed forces denied live ammunition was used.
Mr Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza City on Thursday that Mr Trump had “killed” the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,” he said.
“We should work on launching an Intifada in the face of the zionist enemy.
“We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision.”
Mr Haniyeh stressed the importance of Jerusalem to the Palestinian people who see the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, arriving in Gaza, slammed the “provocative” step that “reverses all efforts to revive the peace process, fuels the conflict and even ends the US role as a peace broker.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meeting Jordanian King Abdullah II, called Mr Trump’s decision an “unacceptable crime” that had isolated Washington in the world.
Mr Abbas will attend an emergency Arab League meeting expected to be held today along with eight UN security council member states, including Egypt and permanent members Britain and France.
Cuba and Venezuela also condemned Mr Trump’s decision on Wednesday.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said it reinforced Israel’s “de facto annexation of the city Jerusalem.”
The Cuban Foreign Ministry said the US move to “modify the historic status of Jerusalem violates the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people.”
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