Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have shut schools and shops, calling for protests on Thursday in show of anger over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the bitterly contested city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Mr. Trump’s dramatic break Wednesday with decades of US policy on Jerusalem goes against long-standing international assurances to the Palestinians that the fate of the holy city will be determined in negotiations.
Palestinians want east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Condemning the US president’s move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suggested that Washington disqualified itself as mediator between Israelis and Palestinians, a role it has played exclusively in more than two decades of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Saudi Arabia, another chief ally of the US in the Middle East, also condemned the Trump administration’s decision in a rare public rebuke.
It said Thursday the kingdom had already warned against this step and “continues to express its deep regret at the US administration’s decision,” calling it “unjustified and irresponsible.”
Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, is known to enjoy close relations with Mr. Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who leads the administration’s efforts to restart Mideast peace talks.
US Embassies across much of the Arab and Moslem world have warned American citizens of possible protests following President Trump’s move.
In recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Mr. Trump is seen as siding with Israel’s hard-line government which says it will not give up any part of the disputed city.