Palestinians Protest Jerusalem Recognition As Hamas Leader Calls For ‘new Intifada’


Chief of the Islamic Hamas movement Ismail Haniyeh delivers a speech over the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City on Dec. 7, 2017. Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a "turning point" for the region. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)

GAZA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Hamas movement called on Thursday for a Palestinian "popular uprising" against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The call comes amid mass demonstrations sweeping across the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

"Tomorrow will be a day of public anger and the launching of an uprising under the name of Intifada of Jerusalem Freedom," said Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh during a public speech.

He reaffirmed that Friday would be "the beginning of a new movement" to fight Israel's plan of occupation of West Bank and Jerusalem.

"Trump will regret this decision," said Haniyeh, stressing "the integrity of Jerusalem instead of Eastern or Western Jerusalem."

Meanwhile, Haniyeh also called for a general Palestinian meeting to discuss the current situation and to reach an agreement on future Palestinian politics.

Describing Trump's recognition as "a turning point in the history of the Palestinian cause," the Hamas leader stressed that Jerusalem "has always been the source of victory, the beginning of revolutions and the starting point of uprisings."

He further reiterated that Hamas would never recognize the legitimacy of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

On Wednesday, Trump officially announced his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intention of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump's declaration triggered a wave of popular anger and outrage among the Palestinians.

The Palestinian factions and political powers declared a general strike in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, while some protestors set fire to U.S. flags and pictures of Trump in Gaza.

Shops were closed and the business of local markets was substantially affected by the comprehensive strike.

Head of the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce Khalil Rizk said that the general strike was an expression of protest against the U.S. president's decision.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced a suspension of schools on Thursday, urging teachers and students to participate in the demonstrations throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations, rallies and protests erupted mainly in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, East Jerusalem as well as in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of youths expressed anger over Trump's move by setting tires on fire for hours at night in various parts of Gaza.

Also in Gaza, medical sources said that three Palestinians were injured during clashes between angry Palestinian protestors and Israeli soldiers stationed on the borders between southeastern Gaza and Israel.

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