Protesters hold a rally outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, to condemn the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
JAKARTA, December 10 (Reuters) – Thousands protested outside the U.S. Embassy in the Indonesian capital on Sunday against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many waving banners saying “Palestine is in our hearts”.
Leaders in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, have joined a global chorus of condemnation of Trump’s announcement, including Western allies who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks sparking more violence.
Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority countries in Asia have rallied in recent days to condemn the U.S. move.
Israel maintains that all of Jerusalem is its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state and say Trump’s move has left them completely sidelined.
Palestinian people were among the first to recognise Indonesia’s independence in 1945, Sohibul Iman, president of the controversial Islamist opposition Prosperous Justice Party which organised the rally, told protesters.
Indonesia should be more proactive in “urging the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states and U.N. Security Council and the international community to respond immediately with more decisive and concrete political and diplomatic actions in saving the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation and its collaborator, the United States of America,” Iman said.
“Indonesia as the world’s largest Muslim country has the largest responsibility toward the independence of Palestine and the management of Jerusalem,” he told reporters, adding that he hoped Indonesia would take a leading role within the OIC on the matter.
“Trump has disrupted world peace. It’s terrible,” one protester, Yusri, told Reuters.
The decision was “a major disaster for the Palestinian people, while the Palestinian’s own rights have been taken away for a long time,” said Septi, a student at the rally.
Violence erupted for a third day in Gaza on Saturday in response to Trump’s decision, which overturned decades of U.S. policy towards the Middle East.
Indonesia’s foreign minister left for Jordan on Sunday to meet the Palestinian and Jordanian foreign ministers “to convey Indonesia’s full support for Palestine”.
Violence flares at protest near U.S. Embassy in Lebanon
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Protesters, some of them waving Palestinian flags, set fires in the street and threw projectiles towards security forces that had barricaded the main road to the U.S. Embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut.
Addressing the protesters, the head of the Lebanese Communist Party Hanna Gharib declared the United States “the enemy of Palestine” and the U.S. Embassy “a symbol of imperialist aggression” that must be closed.
Protesters burned U.S. and Israeli flags.
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks causing further unrest in the Middle East.
Late on Saturday Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.
Israel says that all of Jerusalem is its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.
Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in a 1967 war, to be occupied territory and say the status of the city should be left to be decided at future Israeli-Palestinian talks.
The government of Lebanon, which hosts about 450,000 Palestinian refugees, has condemned Trump’s decision. Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week called the move a threat to regional stability.
The powerful Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah on Thursday said it backed calls for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel in response to the U.S. decision.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also called for a protest against the decision in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut on Monday.
Trump’s Jerusalem decision could help militants – UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed
DUBAI , December 10(Reuters) – U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could provide a lifeline to militants after the setbacks they suffered this year, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan also said that the UAE hopes that Washington would reconsider its decision.
Trump’s announcement has sparked widespread opposition across the Middle East, with many warning it could affect Washington’s role as a Middle East peace broker.
“The U.S. move could throw a lifebuoy to terrorist and armed groups, which have begun to lose ground in the region,” said Sheikh Mohammed, speaking to a delegation from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The comments were carried in a report on state news agency WAM published late on Saturday.
Iraq on Saturday declared final victory over Islamic State after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, while the group is on the back foot in neighbouring Syria, where an offensive backed by Russia has driven the group out of most of its strongholds.
Palestinians want Arab East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, to be the capital of a state they hope would be emerge from peace talks with Israel. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and regards the area as part of its capital.
Sheikh Mohammed said Trump’s unilateral decision violates U.N. resolutions, and urged Washington to “reconsider its move and work basically in an effective and neutral manner to draft true principles for peace that serve all and realise development and stability in the region”, according to WAM.
Turning to Yemen, Sheikh Mohammed said the Saudi-led Arab coalition, which includes the UAE, remained committed to a political solution to end the war that began in 2015 when the Iran-aligned Houthis advanced on the southern port city of Aden forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.
But he said that any solution “will also not be at the expense of enabling a military militia that operates outside the state authority and posing a direct threat to the security and stability of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region at large.”