Washington (December 9, 2017): Responding to the call of American Muslim organizations, hundreds of people gathered outside White House (WH) and staged a protest demonstration against Trump’s Jerusalem move. They also offered Friday prayer there.
Wearing traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarves or the colors of the Palestinian flag, protesters also held placards denouncing Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.On Wednesday, Trump declared that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — turning his back on decades of American and international diplomacy.
“Trump does not own a piece of soil of Jerusalem and Palestine. He owns the Trump Tower. He can give it away to the Israelis,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The president is “empowering Christian religious extremism in the US,” he added. Speaking alongside other prominent figures from the American Muslim community during the protest, Awad called upon Trump to “put the American interests first, not those of a foreign power and its lobbies in the US.”
Another protester, Zaid al-Harasheh, said that Trump’s decision is “not for peace” and will “create more chaos.” Trump’s declaration sparked anger across the Muslim world.
On Friday, clashes between thousands of Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank and on the Gaza Strip left two people dead and dozens more injured.
Israel seized control of Palestinian East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed it, a move not recognized by the international community.