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#HandsoffJerusalem

Palestinian children hold pictures of Jerusalem during a protest against Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Gaza city, on 6 December 2017 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinian children hold pictures of Jerusalem during a protest against Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Gaza city, on 6 December 2017 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The Twittersphere has been awash with opinions on the unfolding events in Jerusalem this morning, as the world waits with baited breath to see if, or indeed when, US President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether to officially recognise the city as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

Hashtags #Jerusalem were popular in English and in Arabic, with many expressing the sentiment echoed by world leaders that Jerusalem is a “red line” not to be crossed:

Many shared images of the iconic Dome of the Rock, emphasising that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine:

#HandsoffJerusalem or #HandsoffalQuds also featured, with Twitter user Bea tweeting Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani’s ode to Jerusalem:

Many users have placed the current events in Jerusalem within the wider historical context of the ongoing occupation and annexation of the city. Captured from Jordan by Israeli forces in the 1967 War, Jerusalem has since become central to discussions of a peace process, with the Palestinians claiming it as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

Egyptian user Etsh shared several images of the loss of Palestinian land, from the situation in Mandate Palestine in 1946 through to the UN Partition Plan of 1947, Israeli expansion beyond the Green Line in 1967 up to the present day, showing the discontiguous Palestinian population centres that many have termed the Palestinian archipelago.

Some turned the situation back to an American context, asking Trump how he would feel if this historic loss of land had happened to the USA:

Many had strong words for Trump, who has received almost universal condemnation from leaders across the international community in response to his upcoming announcement. One Jerusalemite said it wasn’t Trump’s place to decide the city’s status.

Others shared gifs to express their disdain for the President’s decision:

But not everyone felt that the President was making the wrong decision. Scott Presler, a vocal Republican supporter associated with the anti-Islam ACT for America organisation, saw Trump’s move as evidence of his strongman approach to foreign policy.

Arsen Ostrovsky, executive director of the Israel-Jewish Congress (IJC) and international human rights lawyer, shared a similar sentiment, suggesting that the announcement would be long overdue recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital.

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