US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is tantamount to “a second Balfour Declaration,” and puts Islam’s third-holiest shrine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in danger of demolition, the head of the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah said Thursday.
“The most important response would be a Palestinian uprising and an Islamic summit that would declare Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Palestine,” Hassan Nasrallah said on the Hezbollah-affiliated TV station, Al-Manar, as quoted in English by Lebanon’s Naharnet TV.
“We support the call for a new Palestinian [uprising] and escalating the resistance, which is the biggest, most important and gravest response to the American decision,” said Nasrallah, whose terror group seeks the destruction of Israel as a primary goal.
Nasrallah called on Arab states to sever ties with Israel — ties that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been playing up in recent weeks.
He charged that the US had removed any barriers to preventing an Israeli “plot” to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
“We are before a blatant aggression against [Jerusalem] its people, its holy sites and identity,” he said. “The fate of the Palestinian cause as a whole is at stake.”
Trump, he said, did not respect the international community and did not care about the feelings of millions of Muslims and Christians.
Referring to an alliance of Sunni Arab states with Washington, he asked, “What is the value of the US-Arab alliance? “Arab states have to know that they mean nothing to Trump and to the US.”
The Balfour Declaration, signed on November 2, 1917, informed the leader of the British Jewish community at the time, Lord Walter Rothschild, that the British government supported the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in the area then known as Palestine.
It laid the foundations for the establishment of the State of Israel. Palestinians, however, see it as the precursor for their eventual dispossession during “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is revered by Muslims as the place from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, after being transported from Mecca on his steed Buraq. It sits on the Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism.
A much-used focus for Muslim rallying calls, it gave its name to the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which began in September 2000 after a visit to the Temple Mount by the late prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Palestinian propaganda warning that Al-Aqsa is under threat has also been a central theme in a more recent round of Palestinian attacks on Israelis, which began in 2015.
In his speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump called explicitly for no change to the status quo at the Temple Mount, and said the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem would have to be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.