NEW YORK, Dec 9 (APP):Hundreds of angry people descended on New York’s iconic Times Square Friday night to protest a decision by US President Donald Trump’s to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The protesters chanted anti-Trump, and pro-Palestinian slogans: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.
They also waved Palestinian flags and held up signs proclaiming, “Free Palestine” and “End the Occupation.”
Pro-Palestinian protesters, in large numbers, filled the sidewalks around the Times Square. Down the block, a handful of pro-Israeli counter-protesters gathered to support President Trump’s move.
In a speech at the White House on Wednesday, Trump officially declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying his administration would also begin a process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, which is expected to take years.
Trump also said that Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East in the coming days “to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism.
The Trump declaration was a major shift by Washington that overturns decades of US foreign policy. Analysts say Trump’s decision was mainly aimed at his main supporters – Republican conservatives and evangelical Christians who comprise an important share of his voter base.
Following the announcement, massive protests against the United States broke out across the Muslim world, and even in many Western cities.
As the demonstration proceeded, Sayel Kayed, who heads the New Jersey chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, described Trump’s decision as a slap in the face for Muslims who face discrimination in Jerusalem al-Quds.
“This is a move to ethnically cleanse the Palestine area even more, he said.
East Jerusalem al-Quds was occupied in 1967 and Israel later annexed it despite international condemnations. The occupied city’s final status is one of the thorniest issues in the stalemated talks between the Palestinian Authority and Tel Aviv.
Claiming all of al-Quds as its “eternal and indivisible” capital, Israel annexed the eastern part, where a number of sites sacred to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, are located, following the 1967 Six-Day War.
The annexation is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and has never been recognized by the international community.