JERUSALEM – For the Israelis, Thursday was a day of celebration as most of the country delighted in President Trump's speech that recognized Jerusalem as its capital, but for the Palestinians, it was one day of mourning, fury and protests.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority called a general strike and in Gaza, the Islamist movement Hamas called on its followers to ignite a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel.
Angry statements condemning Trump's decision also filled press headlines in Arab countries in the region
Trump's announcement on Wednesday that he would relocate the US Embassy. UU from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his declaration that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel reversed a US policy decades ago. Many fear that the passage could unleash another bloody conflict in the region.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new uprising in the Palestinian territories and for Friday to be a day of fury.
"Tomorrow should be a day of fury" and the beginning of a broad movement for an uprising that I call "the intifada of Jerusalem's freedom", he said.
He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel and "allow resistance in the occupied West Bank." to respond to this blatant aggression "
" Our people and factions of the resistance are in a permanent meeting to follow the events and face this strategic threat that threatens the city of Jerusalem, "he added.
Israel's army He said he was preparing for an increase in violence in the coming days and had reinforced his troops in the West Bank, adding reinforcements to his combat intelligence and territorial defense units.
Institutions in the regions were also preparing for a possible violent rain Reuters reported that a statement from the State Department had been sent to diplomats at the embassy in Tel Aviv with conversation messages to convey to Israeli officials.
"Although I acknowledge that they will publicly welcome this news, I ask you to restrict your official response. "Reuters reported that the document dated December 6 said, it was said," We hope there is resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world. We are still judging the impact that this decision will have on US facilities and personnel. UU "
In Wednesday's televised speech, Trump said presidents before him had signed an exemption that delayed recognition of Jerusalem under the belief that it could cause peace But, he said," after more than two decades of exemptions, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. "It would be foolish to suppose that repeating exactly the same formula would now produce a different or better result."
"Therefore, I have determined that It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, "he said. [1
The Israelis see Jerusalem as their undivided and eternal capital, while for the Palestinians, the eastern part of the city is the future capital of a Palestinian state. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US move would galvanize the Palestinian struggle for independence.
Following Trump's announcement, Abbas said the United States could no longer be a just mediator in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority called for three days of fury and ordered all Palestinian national institutions in the West Bank and Gaza to attack on Thursday. Schools and government offices from Ramallah to Hebron were closed.
In Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, young people burned tires and blocked streets with trash cans before the planned protests. The Israeli army reported that there had already been some clashes.
The Palestinians, backed by Turkey, say that the recognition of Jerusalem violates both international law and UN resolutions. Eight countries in the 15-member UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. It is scheduled for Friday.
Despite the caution note from the State Department, the mood in Israel was optimistic, with the government minister and commentators declaring a diplomatic victory for the Jewish state and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu announced Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as a "historical declaration."
"President Trump has always been linked to the history of our capital," he said. "His name will now float along with other names in the context of the glorious history of Jerusalem and our people."
The prime minister also said that he had already been in contact with other countries that were also willing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
"I have no doubt that as soon as the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem, and even before that, many embassies will move to Jerusalem, it's about time. "
In columns published in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, commentators Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer also congratulated Trump for his courage in straightening what the Israelis see as a 70-year error.
"Those who oppose the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel are wrong." Trump is right, he is right about the issue itself: the 70-year-old refusal of the world to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was a silly mistake, which was the result of diplomatic cowardice and abandonment on the part of Israeli governments, "Barnea wrote.
"In addition, no agreement seems to be anywhere on the horizon, the argument as if the speech damaged the peace process is ridiculous since there is no peace process," he said.
In his article, Shiffer compared the president of the United States to the little boy in Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Emperor's New Clothes.
"He saw reality as it is and pronounced it out loud"
Eglash reported from Jerusalem and Morris reported from Ramallah. Hazem Balousha in Gaza contributed to this report.