Palestinians fear violence after Trump’s Jerusalem embassy move
Palestinians fear the consequences of a speech in which US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and started the process of moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv - as he pledged during his election campaign.
On Monday, Trump missed a deadline to sign a waiver that would have allowed the embassy move to be delayed for six more months. The presidential waiver to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act had been signed every six months without fail by successive American administrations.
The Palestinian leadership has warned that the decision would inflict a final blow to the US-led peace process.
During a press conference in Ramallah on Tuesday, Nasser al-Kidwa, of Fatah's central committee - the party which dominates the PA and the PLO - said the US had ended its role as a sponsor of the peace process and called for a complaint against the United States to be filed at the UN Security Council.
A day earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had called for popular mobilisation against the expected decision, announcing three days of rage starting on Wednesday.
Palestinians were seen burning images of President Trump in the southern city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night and a demonstration was held in Gaza on Wednesday. Elsewhere, streets remained quiet in the hours leading up to the official announcement on Wednesday evening. But Palestinians were concerned about the timing and consequences of the move.
"Jerusalem is important to the Palestinian people not only for its religious symbolism but also as the centre of Palestinian cultural and social life," Yara Hawari, a policy fellow at Palestinian think tank Al Shabaka, told The New Arab.