The French and Israeli leaders sparred verbally Sunday over the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while new violence rippled across the region following the move by U.S. President Donald Trump. “One of the manifestations of this refusal is the mere refusal to sit down with Israel”.
Trump’s decision drew a wave of condemnation from the Arab and Muslim world and Western countries.
Two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed in clashes on Friday, and two others died in Israeli air strikes in retaliation for rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Friday, she repeated Europe’s stance that “the only realistic solution” for peace was two states – Israel and Palestine – with Jerusalem as the capital of both and the borders returned to their status before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Friday justified the decision to recognize Jerusalem’s capital, saying that the USA “recognises the obvious; that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel”.
“I believe that, even though we don’t have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future”.
The status of Jerusalem, a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“Complicity must be recognised”, he said.
But in Jerusalem , a security guard was in critical condition after a 24-year-old Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank stabbed him after approaching a metal detector at an entrance to the city’s central bus station, police said.
The new United States stance, criticized by Palestinians, Arab leaders and others as gravely damaging any prospects for peace, has given rise to swelling protests across the region in recent days.
United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, December 8, 2017.
Elsewhere, demonstrations against Mr Trump’s announcement have spread.
Several protests in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, have also erupted, rejecting the move.
Why does Trump’s announcement matter?
Israel’s prime minister says he is ready to defend President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital against its European critics. It contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
“Jerusalem, by worldwide law, is an occupied city and Israel has no sovereignty over it”, he continued before the gatherers. That includes Saudi Arabia, which, for all its angry noises over Jerusalem this the past week, is governed by a set of royals far more animated by the threat of Iran – Israel’s nemesis – than the conditions endured by millions of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
“What is clear is that the Jerusalem issue will inevitably exacerbate the malaise in the US-Turkish relationship, which was already under considerable strain”.
At least four Palestinians were killed and tens injured in clashes with Israeli troops.