Jordanians rally against Trump recognition, chant ‘Jerusalem is Arab’
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Jordanians rally against Trump recognition, chant ‘Jerusalem is Arab’

In Lebanon, Kashmir, Pakistan, Somalia and across Muslim world, thousands protest US declaration that Jerusalem is Israel's capital

Protesters shout slogans and wave the Jordanian flag during a demonstration near the American Embassy in Amman against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 7, 2017.   (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)
Protesters shout slogans and wave the Jordanian flag during a demonstration near the American Embassy in Amman against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 7, 2017. (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

Hundreds of Jordanians have chanted “Jerusalem is Arab,” as part of a protest against US 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, which is also Judaism’s Temple Mount. They chanted, “America is the head of the snake.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Amman on Thursday and met with Abdullah, a key US ally in the region.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II (R) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Royal Palace in Amman on December 7, 2017. (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

In a joint statement they said “any measure tampering with the legal and historical status of Jerusalem is invalid” and warned Trump’s decision would “have dangerous repercussions.”

Jerusalem is home to key Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy places and 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 holy sites on the Temple Mount, and the kingdom has a large Palestinian population.

Elsewhere, more than 5,000 Lebanese and Palestinians took to the streets near the Palestinian refugee camp of Chatilla in Lebanon’s capital Beirut after Friday prayers and marched toward a cemetery where hundreds of Palestinians are buried.

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.

Hundreds of Muslims also protested in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslims hold placards and a photograph of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in Budgam, southwest of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, December 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

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 US 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 Palestinians in the past and there have been violent protests in Kashmir during previous conflicts between Israel and Palestinians.

Supporters of Pakistani religious group Jamatud Dawa rally against United States in Lahore, Pakistan, December 8, 2017. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

In Pakistan hundreds of Muslims rallied against Trump’s decision.

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 the “legal and historical status” of Jerusalem.

Pakistani traders burn an effigy of the US President Donald Trump during an anti-American rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, December 8, 2017. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Several hundred people also protested in Somalia’s capital.

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.”

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

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