Rabat, Dec 11: A wave of anger against a US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has spread from Asia, through the Middle East, to North Africa, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to denounce the controversial move.
Protesters filled central avenues and squares in a number of major international cities, waving the flag of Palestine and shouting slogans to express their solidarity with the Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday drew near-universal condemnation from world leaders and inflamed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with violence flaring up in the occupied Palestinian territories for a fifth day.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 157 people were injured in confrontations with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
At least four Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the US declaration.
Clashes also erupted at a protest in Beirut, where demonstrators fought with security forces outside the US embassy in the Lebanese capital.
Demonstrators set fires in the street, torched US and Israeli flags and threw stones at police officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Adnan Abdullah, a protester in Beirut, said Trump’s Jerusalem decision “will not happen as long as there are people like us”.
Another demonstrator, whose face was hidden behind a black mask, held up a tear gas canister and condemned Lebanese forces for “defending America”.
He went on to add, “There is no one by our side. None of the Arab countries. Oh God, we will raise the Palestinian flag”
Arab foreign ministers, in a resolution, urged Trump to rescind the decision and have called for a UN Security Council condemnation of the shift in US policy.
Meanwhile, more than 5,000 Indonesians rallied outside the US embassy in Jakarta to vent their anger for a second day. Protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners saying “Pray for Palestine”.
“We are not satisfied with just official statements,” said Nurjannah Nurwani, one of the lead organisers of the gathering. “We need follow-up, international lobbying which could pressure them into withdrawing their decision.”
Another female protester in Jakarta urged Trump to “use his brain” and “withdraw from Jerusalem”.