Warnings are intensifying from across the world that President Donald J. Trump’s decision to make Jerusalem Israel’s capital will send shockwaves throughout the Muslim world.
Countries and people such as the Pope, the UK, Russia, China and the Palestinians are all expressing outrage as the President of the United States is set to announce the decision by lunchtime on Wednesday.
Israel welcomed the news, while the Palestinians declared the Mideast peace process ‘finished’ and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries’ leaders an opportunity to coordinate a response.
In Gaza, Israeli and the US flags were burned in the West bank Hamas declared Friday a ‘day of rage,’ raising the specter of mass violence in the occupied territories.
The Pope, unsurprisingly, made a plea for Donald Trump to rethink his decision while speaking at his general audience in Rome.
‘I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,’ Pope Francis said.
The United States decided to break with the United Nations on this decision and others because of the enormous amount of anti-Israel bias within the ranks of the UN. In fact, just prior to Barack Obama’s departure, the former president turned his back on the Israelis entirely, in December, the U.N. Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, sparking harsh criticism from the then-incoming Trump administration.
The Pope further stated; ‘I cannot keep quiet about my deep concern about the situation that has been created in the last few days.’
In the UK Theresa May said that she would challenge the decision; ‘I’m intending to speak to President Trump about this matter,’ May told MPs.
Our position has not changed, it has been a long-standing one, and it is also a very clear one.
‘It is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states.’
Palestinian leaders, in response to Trump’s pending announcement, stated that the US President would effectively be making a declaration of war, the Palestinians’ chief representative to Britain said Wednesday.
Furthermore, Simon Shiffer, an Israeli commentator stated; ‘Trump’s expected declaration on Jerusalem could turn into a match that would ignite a major fire in the violent region we are living in.’
While talking to Al Jazeera, Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, stated about the decision;
“This decision is an uncalculated gamble that will know no limit to the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim reaction.” “We call on stopping this decision fully because this will usher in the beginning of a time of terrible transformations, not just on the Palestinian level but on the region as a whole. This decision means the official announcement of the end of the peace process.”
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Gaza detailed the current scene;
People did not bother to wait for the announcement and spontaneously gathered to protest against the plans.
“This is an indication of what might come after Trump speaks later today. People here compared the protests to a small ball of fire that would roll and turn into a much larger ball later on,” Smith said.
“The move by the US seems to have further unified the Palestinians. Hamas and the smaller factions in Gaza have given their full support to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fattah movement in their opposition to the US move. There is full unity on the Palestinian streets behind this cause,” he added.
Trump’s public announcement is expected today at lunch, with many protests around the world planned in response. Some are even saying that President Trump’s decision is a declaration of war, however, only time will tell the outcome.