As soon as President Trump announced he would be recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, foreign policy experts and international leaders warned this could ignite a powder keg in the Middle East. Now, the leader of Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas has announced that it is, in fact, holding the matchbook. Ismail Haniya, one of two men who claim authority over the Palestinians, called for a peaceful uprising of his people and says that he interprets Trump’s decision as a “declaration of war.”
“We are here today at a critical point in the history of the Palestinian issue and the core of the issue is Jerusalem, a critical point in the history of the Arab and Muslim nations following the provocative decision, the unfair decision adopted by the US administration,” said Haniya in a Gaza City speech.
Trump explained yesterday that the reason he is moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is because past attempts by the U.S. to help peace talks along had been ineffective. The POTUS feels that by moving the embassy and acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, peace talks can progress to completion. However, it seems that Hamas didn’t take his decision the same way at all. They took it in the exact opposite manner. Haniya called on Palestinians to unite against not only Israel, but also the United States and “confront this dangerous plot.”
Soon after, Palestinians took to the streets of Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus and began protesting throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “This decision has killed the peace process, has killed the Oslo [accord], has killed the settlement process,” said Haniya.”The U.S. decision is an aggression, a declaration of war on us, on the best Muslim and Christian shrines in the heart of Palestine, Jerusalem. We should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy.”