Hamas leader calls for ‘new intifada in the face of Israel’

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has called for a new uprising against Israel following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state.

“We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in a speech in Gaza Thursday, Reuters reports.

World leaders expressed serious concern over the decision and its potential to destabilize the region.

Anti-US protests erupted almost immediately after Trump’s declaration Wednesday, with Palestinians first to take to the streets, calling for three days of rage against the move.

Trump’s Jerusalem recognition: Fears of global backlash – FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES: https://t.co/QD83hbeUhipic.twitter.com/j0IjzOAmpX

— RT (@RT_com) December 6, 2017

The decision has been welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked Trump, and said he be believes “many” other nations will follow suit in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This is a historic day. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Thank you, @realDonaldTrump! 🇮🇱🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/mWCUpUMpiC

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 6, 2017

Egypt and Jordan said Wednesday that they reject the US decision. The Arab League is expected to hold an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss the developments, the head of the Palestinian delegation to the body said Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the move disregards the 1980 UN resolution on the status of the city, adding that “taking such a step throws the region into a circle of fire.” Saudi Arabia called the step “irresponsible and unwarranted.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis said he could not “remain silent” and spoke of his “great anxiety” surrounding the decision, while the EU voiced “serious concern.”

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,”Francis said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican. “Jerusalem is a unique city,” he added, “sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

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