Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has said the US decision on recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a “war declaration against Palestinians”, and called for a new “Intifada”, or uprising.
Haniya said in a speech in Gaza City on Thursday that US President Donald Trump‘s recognition “killed” the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“This decision has killed the peace process, has killed the Oslo [accord], has killed the settlement process,” he said.
“The US decision is an aggression, a declaration of war on us, on the best Muslim and Christian shrines in the heart of Palestine, Jerusalem.”
“We should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” Haniya said.
Hours after his speech, Palestinian protesters took to the streets of the occupied West Bank cities, including Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus, as well as in the Gaza Strip, to vent their frustration at the US decision.
Haniya stressed the fact that the Palestinians see Jerusalem as united and the capital of their future state.
“Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem, is ours,” he said.
“We are here today at a critical point in the history of the Palestinian issue and the core of the issue is Jerusalem, a critical point in the history of the Arab and Muslim nations following the provocative decision, the unfair decision adopted by the US administration.”
He called on all Palestinian factions to unite quickly “in order to have the strategy to confront the occupation and the US administration policies inside the Palestinian Territories”.
“We urge, we ask and we stress the necessity of rearranging the Palestinian situation to confront this dangerous plot and to put our priorities clearly to face that provocative decision, that unfair decision,” he said.
Trump, ignoring warnings from the international community, announced on Wednesday that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy.
On Thursday, Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, speaking to Al Jazeera from Ramallah, said that Trump was “joining Israel in the war crimes and in confirming the annexation of the occupied Palestinian Territories”.
“I hope that the Palestinian Authority will not accept to meet with this American team anymore,” he said.
“Israel decided it wants everything. They want everything? Fine. We will also fight for everything,” he said.
“We might be talking about a popular wide uprising but non-violent one, similar to the first intifada. That’s what we need. Israelis should see the Palestinian resistance everywhere.”