The United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The decision overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East especially in Palestine and plunge an already volatile region into even more uncertainty.
The move has invited sharp criticism from across the world with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan terming Jerusalem the red line for Muslims.
Erdogan said that Ankara could go as far as breaking off diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv if the United States formally recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move he said would be a “red line” for Muslims.
“Mr Trump! Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims,” Erdogan said in a televised speech to his governing party, warning that if such a move was taken Turkey would call a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“We are warning the US once again. You cannot take this kind of step.”
Erdogan also said Jerusalem is inviolable for Muslims and ignoring that would have serious consequences.
The Jewish leaders hailed the announcement of US president and called it a “historic decision” while the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the move and called it a “courageous decision”.
The move has triggered protests across the whole world and world leaders from across Arab and some from Europe denounced the move. The Arab and the wider Muslim world – including a number of US allies – condemned Mr Trump’s announcement.
“The US move represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem,” the Saudi royal court said.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to “make it clear that we strongly oppose” the US move.
British PM Theresa May said she disagreed with the US decision, which was “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron both said their countries did not support the move
The head of Hamas accused Trump of disregarding Palestinian feelings with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In a statement, quoted by BBC, Ismail Haniyeh said that the Palestinian people “know how to respond properly to the disregard of their feelings and sanctuaries”.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was no alternative to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and that Jerusalem was a final-status issue that should be resolved through direct talks.
Leaders from Kashmir also reacted to the announcement made by US president to move Israel capital to Jerusalem and they called it anti-muslim.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omer Abdullah took to Twitter: “There was a time when the Trump administration moves to overturn decades of Us policy WRT# Jerusalem would have proved a strong condemnation from India. (sic)”
Prominent Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that people of Kashmir strongly denounce the US presidents move to announce Jerusalem as the “so-called” capital of Israel. “We urge the UN to take action In accordance with UN character. OIC should take strong note and stand united against this anti-Muslim move.”
Palestinians called a general strike and rallies to protest against the Trump’s announcement and the Palestinian education ministry declared a day off and urged teachers as well as high school and university students to take part in the planned rallies in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Palestinian areas in Jerusalem and the Palestinian general delegate to the U.K. stated that if the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he would effectively be “declaring war.”
Demonstrations have already taken place outside the US consulate in many Muslim dominated countries like Istanbul, Turkey.
There were demonstrations in Gaza against the decision before it was announced in response to a call from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the Gaza strip, local Hamas media reported.
Hamas said that Trump’s decision would “open the doors of hell” on US interests in the region.
Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.