Trump Threatens To Cut Aid To Countries Supporting UN Resolution Against Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

The U.S. President, Donald Trump, has threatened to cut financial aid to countries that back a United Nations resolution opposing the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Mr. Trump earlier in December formally recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said the U.S. embassy will be moved to the disputed city.

The U.S. decision was condemned by other World leaders. The UN Security Council voted against recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Security Council resolution affirmed that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem were “null and void and must be rescinded”, and urged all states to “refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the holy city”. The U.S., however, vetoed the resolution.

A similar vote is now being taken to the UN General Assembly where there is no veto. The emergency session at the request of the Palestinians will hold on Thursday to take the vote. Nigeria and most other countries of the World are expected to vote in favour of the resolution.

It is in expectation of this vote that Mr. Trump spoke on Wednesday.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” the American leader told reporters at the White House.

“Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Both Israel and Palestine want Jerusalem as their capital with most countries of the World supporting a two-state solution that would see East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Thousands Protest In Jakarta Against Trump’s Jerusalem Move

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims protested Sunday in Jakarta against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the latest global show of solidarity with the Palestinians.

Demonstrators many in white Islamic robes and skullcaps gathered outside the US embassy in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country to vent their anger against the unilateral decision.

Protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners saying “We are with the Palestinians” and “Pray for Palestine”.

The rally in Indonesia’s capital drew a crowd of at least 5,000 people, police said.

Trump’s move on Wednesday to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital upended decades of American diplomacy, causing an overwhelming global diplomatic backlash and sparking Palestinian protests and clashes with Israeli security forces.

The status of Jerusalem is deeply sensitive for Muslims, and protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the world following the policy shift.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo said Thursday he “condemned” Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, and ordered the US ambassador in Jakarta to be summoned over the move.

The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS — which organised the Jakarta rally and several others around the country — slammed Trump’s decision as a declaration of “hostility to Muslims throughout the world.”


Israel Pounds Gaza Strip In Response To Hamas Rockets

Israel launched fresh airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in response to rocket fire from the enclave and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas group said two of its gunmen were killed in the bombings.

Militants fired at least three rockets toward Israeli towns from the Hamas-controlled strip on Friday, which was declared a “day of rage” by Palestinian factions protesting U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Israeli Air Force aircraft targeted four facilities belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip.

“They are two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse, a military compound,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

A Hamas source confirmed the two men killed in the strikes belonged to the group which urged Palestinians to keep up confrontation with Israeli forces.

Two more Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza border on Friday and scores more were wounded there and in the occupied West Bank during the protests.

Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands more protesters took to the streets on the Muslim holy day to express solidarity with the Palestinians and outrage at Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. policy.

Trump’s announcement on Wednesday has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies. The status of Jerusalem has been one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians for generations.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital.

Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future independent state of their own.

Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East War, to be occupied territory.

It includes the Old City, home to sites considered holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.

For decades, Washington, like most of the rest of the international community, held back from recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying its status should be determined as part of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

The Trump administration argues that the peace process has become moribund, and outdated, as such policies need to be jettisoned for the sides in the conflict to make progress.

Trump also said he would fulfil his campaign promise and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, where no other country has an embassy.


BREAKING: Erdogan Urges All Muslims To ‘Visit’ And ‘Protect’ Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged all Muslims to visit and protect Jerusalem after violence broke out over metal detectors that Israel installed and later removed from a sensitive holy site in the city.

“From here I make a call to all Muslims. Anyone who has the opportunity should visit Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa mosque,” Erdogan said in Ankara, adding: “Come, let’s all protect Jerusalem.”

He was referring to the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



Source: Punch

Donald Trump Arrives In Bethlehem For Talks With Abbas

Donald Trump has met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank as the US president seeks to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope the region and its people,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Abbas on Tuesday.

“If Israelis and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace throughout the Middle East,” he said without elaborating on any plans to restart talks.

Abbas said Palestinians “are committed to working with [Trump] to reach a historic peace deal between us and Israel,” adding that the “main problem is with the occupation and settlements”.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Bethlehem, said Trump’s remarks regarding the link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stability in the rest of the region was significant, adding, however, that many Palestinians will be disappointed by what Trump did not say.

“Trump didn’t speak of their right to self-determination. he didn’t speak of the two state solution … and they will probably be disappointed that Trump did not say what his plans were or his vision was,” Abdel-Hamid said.

The short visit in Bethlehem came a day after Trump met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Palestinians held a general strike in support of hundreds of hunger-striking prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Meetings between Trump and Netanyahu concluded on Monday with Trump promising to help broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, but gave little indication of how he could revive negotiations that collapsed in 2014.

“It’s not easy. I have heard it is one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we are going to get there eventually. I hope,” Trump said after the meeting, without elaborating.

The last round of peace talks, led by then-President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, fell apart in 2014.

One point of contention is the fate of occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.