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Al-Quds ‘has a very high place among all Arabs’

Palestinian men watching an address given by US President Donald Trump at a cafe in Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6, 2017, a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East. (AFP)
RIYADH: US President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem met with a wave of disapproval on Thursday with Saudis across the society condemning the move.
The president made the announcement on Wednesday, reversing US policy of several decades as well as going against the UN consensus of remaining neutral on Jerusalem’s status.
Condemning the unilateral move, Mohammed Alkhunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News on Thursday: “We condemn such an illegal decision, this is not acceptable.”
“We in the Kingdom will not accept this, Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is one of the holiest places in Islam and has a very high place among all Arabs,” he said.
Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a Saudi analyst and senior legal consultant, told Arab News: “Throughout its history, Jerusalem has been revered by the followers of three religions — Jews, Christians and Muslims — it houses the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall considered holy by the Jews, how can it be declared capital of Israel in this way, which is generating a storm of outrage with leaders from both the Muslim world as well as from the wider international community criticizing the move.”
He said: “Characterized by many economic activities such as tourism (especially religious), industry, trade and agriculture, Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, but the international community did not recognize it as part of Israel.”
Al-Hedayan said: “This is a severe provocation to Muslims all over the world. This move could lead to bloodshed and increase instability in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), reaffirmed the Kingdom’s permanent support for the State of Palestine with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, asserting the high place for Al-Quds for Arabs throughout the ages.
His remarks came during his chairmanship of the Saudi delegation to the 20th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which started on Wednesday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League, SPA reported.
Abdullah Inayat, media relations director at W7 communications, described the move as unwarranted.
He added that such move will only derail the peace process.

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