Violence In Jerusalem Follows Trump's Decision To Recognize City As Israel's Capital

Dec 7, 2017
Originally published on December 7, 2017 5:38 pm
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Let's turn now to the Middle East and reaction to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israeli leaders welcome the move. They see it as recognizing historic Jewish ties to the city and backing their authority there. Palestinians want parts of Jerusalem, parts that Israel captured 50 years ago, for the capital of a future independent Palestinian state. And they are angry. NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Ramallah in the West Bank.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Chanting in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting in foreign language).

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: A young woman led a group of Palestinians chanting and marching down the street in downtown Ramallah. Palestinians protested throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some burned tires and threw rocks at Israeli forces, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Some demonstrators were wounded.

I went to a Ramallah cafe where the curtains were drawn so people wouldn't criticize the cafe for being open on a day of protest. University student Haifa Abu Hilal said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should forget about peace negotiations with Israel.

HAIFA ABU HILAL: How long he will negotiate that situation?

ESTRIN: So if not negotiations, then what?

ABU HILAL: Thoura.

ESTRIN: Revolution. But what kind? Some Palestinians called for civil disobedience and marches. Others said Israel should be fought with violence. Meanwhile, Abbas went to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah to plot possible next steps. An adviser to Abbas says the U.S. is taking Israel's side on the sensitive issue of Jerusalem and couldn't be a fair negotiator between the sides.

AHMAD MAJDALANI: (Speaking Arabic).

ESTRIN: Ahmad Majdalani says the U.S. decision on Jerusalem means the U.S. can no longer play a role in the peace process. Abbas has not yet officially adopted that position. His political rivals, the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, has called for an uprising. Tomorrow, Palestinian officials have asked Muslim clergy to preach about Jerusalem. After Friday prayers more protests are expected, and U.S. embassies have warned about possible violent protests in various countries around the world. Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Ramallah. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.