First Published: 2017-12-08

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem
Demonstrators at protests following Friday prayers in mosques vent their anger at unilateral decision which has sparked widespread international criticism.
Middle East Online

Sign reads: 'We are at your service, Jerusalem.'

JERUSALEM - Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Muslim and Arab countries across the world Friday to protest against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians.

Demonstrators at the protests which followed the weekly prayers in mosques vented their anger at the unilateral decision which has sparked widespread international criticism.

In the Palestinian territories at least one Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Trump's announcement on Wednesday prompted an almost universal diplomatic backlash, including warnings from Turkey, the European Union and Russia over the risks of fresh violence in the Middle East.

"Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine," chanted crowds in Jordan, one of only two Arab states to have made peace with Israel, where an estimated 20,000 people poured into the streets of Amman and other cities.

They carried banners reading "Go to Hell!," directed at Israel and the United States, and set ablaze the two countries' flags.

Hundreds of demonstrators, circled by anti-riot police, also gathered outside Al-Azhar mosque in the capital of Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state.

"We will sacrifice our soul, our blood for you, Al-Aqsa," they pledged, referring to the mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem that is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

- War-torn countries -

Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians demonstrated in Lebanon and its refugee camps, while similar joint protests were staged in Syria despite the country's brutal war.

In another war-torn country, thousands of Yemeni rebel supporters rallied in Sanaa under the banner "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine".

"This case belongs to all Muslims and no one has the right to sell it out," Mohammed Ali al-Huthi, a Huthi rebel leader, shouted to the crowd.

"Jerusalem is ours and Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs," hundreds of Iraqi demonstrators chanted in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, where Israeli and American flags were also torched.

"Death to America! Death to Israel!" was the rallying cry as thousands demonstrated in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Several banners read: "We will stand tall until the destruction of Israel."

Thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters marched after prayers at the Ottoman Fatih mosque in the centre of Istanbul.

"We consider Jerusalem as the bastion of the Muslim community ... We are here to show our unity and our strength," said protester Doguhan, 17.

- Protests in Asia -

In Asia, thousands of protesters demonstrated outside the US embassy in Malaysia, condemning Trump's decision as a "slap in the face" for Muslims worldwide.

They carried banners that read: "Hands off Jerusalem" and "Down USA President Trump".

In neighbouring Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, several hundred people demonstrated outside the US embassy in Jakarta, unfurling a large Palestinian flag.

In Afghanistan, more than 1,000 protesters hit the streets after Friday prayers in Kabul.

They burnt effigies of Trump as well as American and Israeli flags. A few dozen tried to reach the heavily-barricaded US embassy, but were pushed back by local security forces.

Around 2,500 demonstrators also protested in the western city of Herat.

Hundreds took to the streets in Pakistan, including in the capital Islamabad. The protesters chanted "Death to Trump" and "Trump is mad."

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Tillerson to present US strategy on Syria to European, Arab allies

Russia pension funds may invest in Aramco IPO

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Qaeda leader calls on Muslims to attack Jews, Americans over Jerusalem

Palestinians in occupied West Bank get 3G

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia amid US alarm

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Three French female jihadists face possible death penalty in Iraq

Women journalists protest separation during Pence visit to Jerusalem

Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Israeli minister calls to ban author praising Palestinian teen

Qatar supports Turkey’s offensive against Kurds

World powers meet on Syria chemical attacks

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict