JERUSALEM (AP) —
Cropped Photo: askii / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
The Palestinians are telling the United Nations that the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "undermines and essentially disqualifies its leadership role to seek peace in the region."
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Friday that "one party cannot continue to monopolize the peace process," especially one that is biased in favor of "the occupying power," Israel.
Mansour urged the Security Council to denounce what he called the "irresponsible" U.S. decision and reaffirm its position on the status of Jerusalem — that the holy city's status is unresolved and must be decided during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on a two-state solution.
He said the council must "affirm its rejection of all violations of that status."
Mansour said the Security Council must also act to avert "further exacerbation of religious sensitivities."
He said they threaten to turn the conflict "into a never-ending religious war that will only be exploited by extremists, fueling more radicalism, violence and strife in the region and elsewhere."
Traditional U.S. allies in the U.N. Security Council, including Britain, France, Sweden, Italy and Japan, are criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
At an emergency council meeting Friday on the impact of Trump's announcement, Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft called the U.S. decision "unhelpful to peace."
Sweden's U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog said the U.S. action "contradicts international law and Security Council resolutions," stressing that Jerusalem's status is to be decided in direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre expressed regret at the U.S. decision, citing legal grounds, its impact on efforts to reach a two-state solution and the potential escalation of violence.
He says the United States must explain how Trump's action aligns with the legal foundation "on which all peace efforts are based."
Italy's U.N. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi said Jerusalem's status must be negotiated and expressed serious concern at "the risk of unrest and tensions in the region."
Japan's U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho said his government opposes "any unilateral measures" and feared the heightened tensions on the ground, saying violence "can easily snowball into larger crises."
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Egypt, the Sunni Muslim world's leading religious institution, says he will not meet with Vice President Mike Pence because of the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said in a statement Friday that he had earlier accepted an invitation to meet with Pence later this month but reversed his decision after President Donald Trump announced he would be moving the U.S. Embassy to contested Jerusalem.
Al-Tayeb says he will not meet with those who "falsify history" or "rob peoples of their rights" and "assault their sanctities."
He also urged Trump to "immediately" reverse his decision, which ignited protests across the Middle East.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says President Donald Trump knew his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital would raise "questions and concerns" but took it to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Nikki Haley told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that the U.S. is more committed to peace "than we've ever been before — and we believe we might be closer to that goal than ever before."
The Trump administration has been working on a new peace plan, but Haley gave no details.
She noted that past Israeli-Palestinian agreements have been signed on the White House lawn, and if there is a new agreement there is "a good likelihood" it will be signed there as well "because the United States has credibility of both sides."
Haley urged all countries "to temper statements and actions in the days ahead," saying anyone who used Trump's announcement as a pretext for violence would show that they were "unfit partners for peace."
The U.N.'s Mideast envoy is calling for urgent international efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, warning that if the conflict isn't resolved "it risks being engulfed in the vortex of religious radicalism throughout the Middle East."
Nickolay Mladenov told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that there is a risk of escalating violence following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — and "a serious risk" of "a chain of unilateral actions" that would push the goal of peace further away.
He pointed to clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces and some calls for a new intifada, or uprising.
Mladenov reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' words that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved through direct negotiations and that "there is no Plan B to the two-state solution."
Hundreds of Algerians have held an improvised protest after weekly prayers to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
Men in djellaba robes and women in headscarves gathered Friday at the headquarters of the MSP Islamist party in the capital, Algiers.
Police monitored closely as protesters chanted "Muhammad's soldiers are back" and "Death to Trump." Others brandished photos of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest Muslim shrine, and said "we will soon pray" in Jerusalem.
Party member Mohamed Kacemi told The Associated Press that "it was a spontaneous action in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers ... we hope to see other protests in other towns soon."
Algeria's government denounced the U.S. decision as threatening efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace and stability in the region. Algeria has struggled with violence between the army and Islamic extremists.
Thousands of Yemenis have protested against a U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city.
Friday's protests took place in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, as well as other areas held by Iran-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis.
Protesters waved Palestinian flags and carried banners reading: "Jerusalem, Ansar Allah (God's supporters) are coming," referring to Houthi rebels.
Yemen is embroiled in a civil war pitting the Houthis against a U.S.-backed and Saudi-led coalition supporting an internationally recognized government.
Turkish officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Turkey on Dec. 11 for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Jerusalem's status and other issues.
Erdogan's office said Friday the two leaders would take up U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as well as the situation in Syria. The two leaders would also discuss bilateral ties.
Both leaders expressed concern that the U.S. decision on Jerusalem will "negatively affect peace and stability in the region" during a telephone call on Thursday.
The Palestinian Health Ministry says a 30-year-old Gazan was killed and dozens more were wounded in skirmishes between Israeli forces and protesters along Gaza's border with Israel.
The ministry said that Mohammed Al-Masri died Friday after being struck by live fire east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, and that more than 35 Palestinians were injured, two seriously.
It was the first death since clashes erupted across the Palestinian territories after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The Israeli military said in a statement that during clashes along the border fence soldiers "fired selectively at two main instigators" and confirmed hitting them.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it will likely take several years before the United States opens an embassy in Jerusalem.
Tillerson is holding a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris. He says it will "take some time" to acquire a site for the embassy, develop building and construction plans, obtain authorizations from the Israeli government and actually build the embassy.
Tillerson says it won't happen this year, and probably not in 2018.
He also says Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital "did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem."
He says the United States is making clear that Jerusalem's borders will be left to Israelis and Palestinians to "negotiate and decide."
U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital angered Palestinians and sparked protests across the region.
The new Czech prime minister has dismissed a suggestion by President Milos Zeman that the Czech Republic should follow the U.S. example and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Talking to the Czech public radio on Friday, Andrej Babis says "this idea of President (Donald) Trump is not good. You can see the reactions."
Babis says "the big countries should seek peace."
Trump's decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as the capital of Israel broke with decades of U.S. policy, angering the Palestinians and igniting protests across the region.
Zeman said in a television interview late Thursday that he was happy with Trump's decision and the Czech Republic and the European Union should do the same. Zeman said as early as 2013 that the Czech Republic should relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, angering Arab leaders.
The Czech Foreign Ministry said it has no such plan to follow the U.S. president's example.
Zeman's position is largely ceremonial and the government is in charge of foreign policy.
Zeman was among the few European leaders who endorsed Donald Trump for U.S. president.
Several hundred people are protesting in Somalia's capital against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The protesters in Mogadishu, led by Islamic scholars, marched from a mosque after Friday prayers to the bustling K4 junction to show solidarity with Palestinians.
They chanted anti-Israel and anti-Trump slogans including "Down, Trump!"
"I am really disappointed in this decision," protester Shamso Aden says. "Our sentiment is so high. We won't accept this, as we will fight to the end."
Another protester, Amir Mohamed, says: "This is blackmailing the Muslim community at large."
Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians have marched in the streets of Beirut in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
More than 5,000 people took to the streets near the Palestinian refugee camp of Chatilla after Friday prayers and marched toward a cemetery where hundreds of Palestinians, including commanders, are buried.
The Chatilla refugee camp was the site of a massacre that left hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians dead in 1982 during Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The massacre in Chatilla and the nearby camp of Sabra was carried out by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied with Israel.
Carrying Palestinian flags, the group marched from the Imam Ali mosque in Beirut's western neighborhood of Tareeq Jadeedeh to the cemetery before they dispersed peacefully.
Thousands of people across Turkey are protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
More than 3,000 people gathered outside a mosque in Istanbul's conservative Fatih district after Friday prayers and were marching toward a park, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans protesting the United States and Israel.
State-run TRT television reported that similar protests were being staged by worshippers outside mosques in the capital, Ankara, and in the cities of Kocaeli, Bursa and Izmir.
Small crowds also held demonstrations across the street from the heavily protected U.S Embassy, chanting: "U.S.A. take your bloodied hands off Jerusalem."
Hundreds of Egyptians are protesting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to the contested city.
The protests, reported by state-run TV, are taking place at the famous Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo following Friday prayers amid tightened security.
The protesters chanted "Down with Israel," ''We sacrifice our blood and souls for Palestine."
Trump's break with long-standing U.S. policy on Jerusalem's status fueled anger across the Middle East. Arab and Muslim leaders said the move would disrupt the peace process and could ignite violent protests in the already-volatile region.
Hundreds of Muslims have protested in Indian-controlled Kashmir against the Trump administration's recognition this week of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The protesters marched at several places in the main city of Srinagar and other parts of the region after Friday prayers. They chanted slogans such as "Down with America" and "Down with Israel."
In some places, the demonstrators also burned U.S. and Israeli flags.
Authorities imposed a curfew in parts of Srinagar and banned Friday prayers at the city's main mosque, fearing the protests could morph into violent action against Indian rule.
Kashmiri leaders have called Trump's move "anti-Muslim."
Kashmiris have shown solidarity with Palestine in the past and there have been violent protests in Kashmir during previous conflicts between Israel and Palestine.
Hundreds of Jordanians have chanted "Jerusalem is Arab," as part of a protest against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The march took place in the center of the capital of Amman, following Friday mosque prayers.
The demonstrators raised posters showing Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest site. They chanted, "America is the head of the snake."
Jerusalem is home to key Muslim, Jewish and Christian shrines and its eastern sector is sought by the Palestinians as a future capital. Israel claims the entire city as its capital.
Jordan has a special stake in Jerusalem. Its monarch is the religious guardian of the Muslim shrine, and the kingdom has a large Palestinian population.
The leaders of France and Lebanon are warning that the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is threatening stability throughout the region.
With protests underway Friday around the Arab world over the decision, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "launching an appeal for calm and responsibility."
Macron spoke at the opening of an international conference in Paris on settling Lebanon's political crisis. He said tensions around Jerusalem are threatening stability throughout the region and efforts to stabilize Lebanon.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, also in Paris, said the U.S. decision "will further complicate the peace process and pose an additional challenge to the stability of the whole region." Hariri's brief resignation last month sparked fears of a new proxy conflict in Lebanon.
Hundreds of Palestinian protesters are clashing with Israeli security forces in the West Bank cities of Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah after Friday midday prayers in a show of rage over the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Protesters threw stones at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
In Gaza, thousands took to the streets and marched Friday to denounce President Donald Trump's proclamation.
Thousands of Palestinian worshippers also are rallying outside Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque, a flashpoint site in the holy city.
Hundreds of Muslims across Pakistan have rallied against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Friday's rallied were organized by radical Islamic groups in Islamabad and elsewhere in the country, where protesters torched effigies of Trump to express solidarity with the Palestinians.
The protesters marched on the streets and roads, chanting "Down with America" and "Down with Israel."
Rallies took place in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan's largest, and also in Multan and Lahore, the capital of eastern Punjab province.
Islamist leaders addressed the crowds and urged Muslim countries to cut diplomatic ties with Washington to pressure Trump to reconsider his decision.
Pakistan's foreign ministry issued a statement expressing concern over what is said was Trump's altering of "legal and historical status" of Jerusalem.
Hundreds of Iranian worshippers are rallying in the capital, Tehran, and chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" in a show of anger over the Trump administration's move this week that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Iranian media say that similar rallies were underway in other cities and towns across the country after Friday prayers.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought the Islamists to power, Iran has not recognized Israel and has supported anti-Israeli groups, such as the militant Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip and Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
The militant al-Qaida network is urging followers world over to target vital interests of the United States, its allies and Israel in response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
A statement posted on al-Qaida's media arm as-Sahab in both Arabic and English on Friday rallied for holy war or jihad and described America as a modern-era "pharaoh" oppressing Muslims.
The statement says "the surest and quickest way to confront the aggression of the pharaoh of our age — America — is jihad in Allah's name by targeting the vital interests of the United States and its Zionist and Crusader (Christian) allies everywhere."
Branches of the global terror network, including the North Africa branch known as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and also al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, issued similar statements.
Palestinians are expected to protest en masse across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip following the Trump administration's recognition this week of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Israeli police have deployed reinforcements in and around Jerusalem's Old City ahead of Friday prayers, though Israel hasn't imposed age restrictions on Muslim worshippers to access Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque, the city's most sacred Islamic site — a measure common during flare-ups of tensions.
Demonstrations in solidarity are also expected across the Middle East and many Muslim nations. In Malaysia, more than 1,000 Muslims have protested outside the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Trump's declaration on Jerusalem departed from decades of U.S. policy and upended longstanding international assurances that the fate of the city would be determined in negotiations.