The Palestinian education ministry announced a general strike Thursday in protest of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The ministry called on teachers and students to take part in expected mass demonstrations and marches in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Israeli security forces are preparing for the possibility of large-scale riots in the wake of Trump’s announcement, as well the danger of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, as have happened in the past in the wake of perceived changes to the status of Jerusalem.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump’s “deplorable and unacceptable” move signified America’s withdrawal as a sponsor of the peace process.
The Palestinian leader said he was calling for an “emergency meeting” of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Committee to create a “unified national position” and put “all options before it.”
The Hamas terror group warned that Trump had opened “the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”
By recognizing Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Trump is seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem — which Israel captured in 1967 — for their capital.
Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza rallied Wednesday against the announcement, burning US and Israeli flags as well as pictures of Trump. Relatively small clashes erupted near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
Abbas’s Fatah party has not yet declared protests, but had told Palestinians to be ready for developments should Trump follow through with the declaration.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Trump’s recognition was bound to “destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.”
Hamdallah told the diplomats that the expected US shift on Jerusalem “will fuel conflict and increase violence in the entire region.”
Dov Lieber and Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.