International support for Palestine growing

Palestinians burn posters depicting Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. Palestinians also closed schools and shops and called for protests in West Bank towns, while the leader of the Hamas militant group called for a new armed uprising. (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has come out against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Trump tweeted that he has determined that it is time to “officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” and that he would be directing the US State Department to begin preparations to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“The decision by Trump is an attempt to legitimise the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel. The consequences of such a move is likely to end all attempts at peace talks between Israel and Palestine. It will also embolden right-wing reactionaries who refuse to recognise Israeli occupation for what it is,” said Executive Director of the Kathrada Foundation, Neeshan Balton.

Palestinian youths take part in a protest in Gaza
Palestinian youths take part in a protest in Gaza City on Thursday. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

“Israel has for years, through its colonial project, been implementing policies that further the Judaization of Jerusalem. The decision by the US will cement its efforts to occupy land that rightfully belongs to Palestinians. It will also enhance Israel’s efforts to try and erase Palestinian history and culture in occupied East Jerusalem.”

Trump’s dramatic break Wednesday with decades of U.S. policy on Jerusalem is highly contentious for many, as Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as a future capital.

Israel, which claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, has welcomed Trump’s decision. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Trump “bound himself forever” to the history of Jerusalem with the move and claimed other states are considering following suit.

The Palestinian president says he is rallying international opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which he called an “unacceptable crime.”

At a meeting with Jordan’s king, President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he rejects Trump’s decision and believes the United States has hurt its credibility in the region.

“Fortunately, there was a positive response from all the countries in the world, from Europe and from Africa and countries close to America that don’t support the U.S.,” he said. “These all are messages to Trump that what he did is an unacceptable crime.”

Balton added that “the recognition of all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel legitimises its theft of land, demolition of Palestinian homes, its revoking of residency permits, its human rights abuses and its attacks on religious freedom and holy sites. Jerusalem is the heart of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. But Palestinian Christians, Muslims and Jews cannot enter Jerusalem without permission from Israeli forces. Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could mean that occupation forces are emboldened into furthering restrictions in this regard.” 

“We express our support to Palestinians who will be protesting against the decision by the US president. We also welcome the comments of Chief Mandla Mandela, who condemned Trump’s decision as ‘delusional’. Trump’s decision goes against international consensus and derails any attempts at implementing a two-state solution. We therefore call on the South African government to denounce Trump’s decision in the strongest possible manner and reaffirm its commitment to the Palestinian struggle.”

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