Thousands rally in Pakistan against Trump’s Jerusalem move

Thousands rally in Pakistan against Trump’s Jerusalem move

Supporters of US-wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed gather in Lahore; demonstration also held by Jamaat-e-Islami party in Karachi

Supporters of the Pakistan Defense Council, an alliance of hardline Islamist religious parties chant slogans during a rally against America, in Lahore, Pakistan, December 17, 2017. (K.M. Chaudary/AP)
Supporters of the Pakistan Defense Council, an alliance of hardline Islamist religious parties chant slogans during a rally against America, in Lahore, Pakistan, December 17, 2017. (K.M. Chaudary/AP)

KARACHI, Pakistan — Thousands of Islamists rallied Sunday in two major cities in Pakistan to condemn US President Donald Trump for declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

Supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in Karachi and advocates of US-wanted Islamist terrorist Hafiz Saeed in Lahore dispersed peacefully after rallying Sunday for the Palestinian cause.

Protests have persisted in Pakistan and Indonesia, which also saw a large protest Sunday, since Trump’s announcement angered Muslims across the world.

The chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, called on all Muslim nations to suspend diplomatic ties with the US until it reconsiders its Jerusalem decision.

Saeed said that Muslims the world over should put aside any differences and unite around the cause of “liberating” Jerusalem.

Pakistani cleric and head of Jamatud Dawa terror group Hafiz Saeed addresses an anti-American rally in Lahore, Pakistan, December 17, 2017. (K.M. Chaudary/AP))

Washington has demanded that Pakistan authorities act to arrest and prosecute Saeed for masterminding a deadly siege in India’s Mumbai nearly a decade ago.

Five Americans, three Israelis and one dual-national were among 166 people killed in 2008 during the three-day siege in Mumbai when gunmen who arrived by sea sparked battles with Indian commandos.

One of the targets of the attackers was the Chabad House in Mumbai, where Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg were taken hostage and killed along with four other Jewish visitors there.

Muslim-majority Pakistan has reiterated its support for the Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their hoped-for state.

Also Sunday, some 80,000 people demonstrated in Jakarta, Indonesia, against the US decision on Jerusalem with Muslim clerics calling for a boycott of American products.

Protesters shout slogans during a rally against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at Monas, the national monument, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on December 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

In an address December 6 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 Prime Minister 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.

Anger in the Muslim world has persisted over the move, including near-daily riots by Palestinians after terror group Hamas called for a new intifada.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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