Thousands of Palestinians protests against recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Vastavam web: Thousands of Palestinians took part in fresh protests today against Washington’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but a week on there is no sign of a threatened new intifada.US President Donald Trump’s December 6 announcement that he would break with decades of American policy and move his embassy to Jerusalem has stirred international condemnation, as well as protests across the Palestinian territories and Arab world.Protests broke out across the Palestinian territories for the second Friday in a row after the end of weekly Muslim prayers, often a catalyst for clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

In Gaza, the strip’s Islamist rulers Hamas had called for another ‘day of rage’ against the decision, with tens of thousands taking to the streets.In Jerusalem itself, around 30,000 people prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims, the Islamic organisation that administers the site said.The vast majority left without incident, but small scuffles broke out in Jerusalem’s Old City.For decades global powers have avoided taking an opinion, keeping their embassies in Tel Aviv instead.

Trump declared, however, that he would move the embassy and recognised the city as Israel’s capital.Amid condemnation from much of the international community, the Palestinians have announced they will no longer view the Americans as mediator in negotiations with the Israelis.He said, however, the effectiveness of the Israeli forces and the Palestinian security forces’ ongoing security cooperation with them had ensured the protests in the West Bank remained relatively minor in scale.While angered by Trump’s declaration, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has not instructed his party Fatah or security forces to cut ties with Israel.

“Hamas is too weak in the West Bank to carry out any serious attacks (and) Fatah does not want to engage in violence,” Shikaki said.In Gaza, hermetically sealed off by Israel and Egypt, at least 12 rockets or mortars have been fired from the territory since Trump’s announcement, with Israel hitting at least 10 sites in reply.But the response has been relatively muted compared to some of the warnings, said Ofer Zalzberg, Israel-based analyst with the International Crisis Group think-tank.