Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

Above, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

GAZA CITY: Gaza Strip witnessed a general strike of government institutions and schools as shops remained open to protest President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

On Wednesday evening and on Thursday the Gaza Strip's cities experienced various marches called by the Palestinian factions to denounce the American decision, during which the demonstrators burned pictures of US President Donald Trump and American and Israeli flags.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Intifada (uprising) in the Palestinian territories and to mark Friday as "a day of outrage".

“Let tomorrow be a day of rage and the beginning of a broad movement for an uprising that I call “the intifada of freedom of Jerusalem”, such as that which our people in occupied Jerusalem recently blew up in which they mourned the nose of the occupation,” he said in a televised speech.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel and “enable the resistance in the occupied West Bank to respond to this blatant aggression.”

“We say clearly that Jerusalem is united, not Eastern or Western, it is an Arab Palestinian Islamic and the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine. Today I say that Palestine is one and united from the sea to the river, which cannot be divided by two states or two entities. Palestine is ours and Jerusalem, all Jerusalem to us. We do not recognize the legitimacy of the occupation and the existence of Israel on the land of Palestine to get a capital” Haniya said


“We must speed up the pace of alleviating the Palestinian people and take a decision to lift the sanctions on the Gaza Strip. The wounded people will not be able to face the occupier if they do not have the factors of steadfastness. I call for the cessation of security coordination with the enemy in the West Bank.”

At a press conference in Gaza, Hamas' military wing Islamic Jihad called for the withdrawal of the Arab peace initiative and an end to normalization with Israel. It also called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw its recognition of Israel and revoke the Oslo Accords.

"We ask the Arabs and Muslims to stop considering the United States as an ally and a friend,” the group said.

Ahmed Bahr, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), stressed the need to write off the Oslo agreement, calling on the resistance to respond to the “American crime against Jerusalem.”

“The response to the American decision will not be achieved with dreams, not with slogans and declarations, but through an effective Arab and Islamic national resistance movement that will hurt the occupation and exert political diplomacy that will be able to isolate the occupation and besiege its policies in international organizations and forums and criminal courts.” Bahr said during an emergency session of the PLC in Gaza.

On Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah visited the Gaza Strip as part of reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas.

“We will devote reconciliation. If we fail, we will rise again in a spirit of determination and steadfastness, so that together we can face the greatest challenge before us, the Israeli occupation and the need to end it, the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its eternal capital,” Al-Hamdallah told a news conference in Gaza.

Akram Attallah, a Palestinian columnist, told Arab News that “Palestinians have been occupied for years by internal conflict that has become a priority and has become the main issue that has drained their administrative, political and media efforts. The partisan and personal issues are a priority for Palestinian forces and parties national project.”

“The beginning from here from Palestine is a courageous decision to put an end to these differences that have afflicted us and to rebuild the political system on new foundations. Trump sheds the curtain on the role of the United States. This may be a different beginning.”

“The Palestinians are going through a difficult period and a real danger. When nations are exposed to dangers, they unite,” he said.


US downgrades Palestinian mission, places it under embassy in Israel

Updated 19 October 2018
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US downgrades Palestinian mission, places it under embassy in Israel

  • The move will make the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, the main interlocutor with the Palestinian leadership
  • Pro-Israel advocates hailed the decision, saying it confirmed the US recognized the whole of Jerusalem as part of Israel

WASHINGTON: The United States downgraded its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians on Thursday, placing it under the authority of the US embassy to Israel.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the consulate general, a separate office which handled dealings with the Palestinians, would be replaced by a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the controversial new US embassy in Jerusalem.
The move will make the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who is reviled by Palestinians over his support for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the main interlocutor with the Palestinian leadership.
The change, quickly condemned by the Palestinians, follows a series of setbacks for them at the hands of President Donald Trump, who has turned US policy sharply toward Israel.
Pro-Israel advocates hailed the decision, saying it confirmed the US recognized the whole of Jerusalem as part of Israel.
“This decision is driven by our global efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. It does not signal a change of US policy,” Pompeo said in a statement.
He said the United States “continues to take no position” on how any peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians would take shape.
The Palestinian leadership rejected Pompeo’s “efficiency” explanation.
The decision has “a lot to do with pleasing an ideological US team that is willing to disband the foundations of American foreign policy, and of the international system, in order to reward Israeli violations and crimes,” the Palestinians’ chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
“The Trump administration is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” he added.
International powers have for decades maintained separate and autonomous representations to Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of supporting the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state.
They have insisted that the status of Jerusalem, which both the Israelis and Palestinians see as their capital, should be negotiated between the parties as part of any end deal.
Last December, Trump reversed longstanding US policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, prompting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to boycott his administration.
The embassy was officially transferred on May 14.
Since then, the Trump administration has forced the Palestinians to shutter their Washington mission and has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, in a bid to force them to the negotiating table.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, alongside Friedman and peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, has been working for months on a still-secret peace proposal, which Palestinians fear will be overly one-sided toward Israel.
The move Thursday nearly closes off all direct diplomatic contacts between the United States and the Palestinians, analysts said.
Ofer Zalzberg of the International Crisis Group think-tank said the US would be the only major power without a separate, independent representative office for the Palestinians.
“Other countries have gone to great lengths to avoid having the same representatives to Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he told AFP.
Robert Danin, a former senior US government official dealing with Israeli-Palestinian issues, said the move was a victory for “hard right partisans” who have sought to eliminate the Palestinian-focused consulate general “for decades.”
The consulate general “is THE eyes and ears into Palestinian politics and society. Its independence from US Embassy Israel provided Washington w/solid, unvarnished reporting and analysis,” he said on Twitter.
But Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor with the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum and advocate for the embassy move, said the decision was more evidence the US considered Jerusalem to be fully part of Israel.
“This step confirms that the US recognizes the entire city as Israel’s capital,” he said.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert defended the move, saying the new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the embassy would maintain contacts with Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem at the same level as before the change.
“We value our relationship with the Palestinian people. We look forward to continued partnership and dialogue with them and, we hope in future, with the Palestinian leadership,” she said via Twitter.