Palestinians Vent Their Anger After Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

Palestinians Vent Their Anger After Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

But Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top foreign policy official, warned that the decision would be damaging to the peace effort.

“President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact,” she said. “It has a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in.”

An important test will come on Friday. Hamas, the dominant force in Gaza, appeared to be competing with the West Bank leadership over loyalty to Jerusalem, and has called for Palestinians to rally and to confront the Israeli forces wherever possible after noon prayers.

Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Hamas are engaged in a renewed reconciliation effort after a decade-long schism. In the midst of the turmoil over Jerusalem, the authority’s prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, arrived in Gaza on Thursday to discuss the handover of internal security there, one of the main sticking points that have bedeviled previous attempts at an easing of tensions.

Mr. Hamdallah’s government is supposed to have full control of all the ministries by Dec. 10, but has yet to wrest the Interior Ministry, which handles security, from Hamas’s control.

He told reporters in Gaza that his side was devoted to reconciliation, “but if we fail, we will rise again to face together the biggest challenge, the Israeli occupation.”


Israeli forces dispersed Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. Credit Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Abbas has repeatedly stated in the past that he does not want a third intifada on his watch, and the calls from Hamas underscored the abiding internal divisions.

As Israelis went about their business in Jerusalem on Thursday, there were few visible signs of celebration; for many, Mr. Trump had only affirmed a longstanding reality.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel hailed the announcement from Washington. “President Trump has inscribed himself in the annals of our capital for all time,” he said at a conference at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “His name will now be linked to the names of others in the context of the glorious history of Jerusalem and our people.”

Mr. Netanyahu said Israel was in contact with other countries to persuade them to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, too. “ It’s about time,” he said.

In cities across the West Bank, Palestinians responded to calls from minarets to protest. Hundreds of youths made their way toward a checkpoint on the edge of Ramallah, a frequent site of clashes. In Gaza, youths protested along the border fence, rallied in a central Gaza City park and burned tires in a refugee camp.

Salwa Helis, 32, took a group of orphans she teaches to the demonstration in the park, where they held Palestinian flags and banners against the backdrop of a large poster of Jerusalem, a city that is out of reach for most Gazans.

“I can’t carry a weapon to shoot or launch rockets at Israelis,” she said. “That’s why I am here protesting against Trump’s resolution by shouting solidarity slogans for Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Palestine.”

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