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Twitter continues to react to Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Palestinians protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in Gaza city on 8 January 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

On 6 December 2017, Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked widespread media outrage; social media was flooded with outpourings of frustration and 100 days later Twitter bears witness that the announcement that stoked the flames of anger towards Israeli occupation, sees few signs of dying down.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh viewed the announcement as a “declaration of war” and called for “an intifada [uprising] against the occupier”.

The move provoked almost unanimous condemnation from world leaders who expressed concerns regarding its impact on regional stability and peace prospects.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he opposed “any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians”.

President Emmanuel Macron declared that “France does not approve the US decision. France supports the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. We must prefer appeasement and dialogue.”

Many highlighted the irony of Trump’s “pursuit for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians” when his decision only served to undermine the possibility of peace.

BDS South Africa stated that the move confirms Israel’s status as “a rogue and pariah state”.

Journalist Mariam Barghouti depicted the issue as undermining the Palestinian right to self-determination and an embodiment of ongoing attempts to erode Palestinian identity.

The UN passed a resolution rejecting President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with an overwhelming majority of countries condemning his decision.

Others highlighted the move as another manifestation of Israeli aggression and violation of international law. Journalist Dena Takruri tweeted how Trump’s decision stripped the US of its legitimacy as a power broker in the region.

Protests also erupted internationally denouncing Trump’s decision and in solidarity with Palestinians.

Critics have regarded Trump’s announcement as confirmingUS bias against the Palestinians, claiming the move emboldened Israeli occupation forces to respond heavy-handedly to unarmed Palestinian protesters. Since the announcement, 33 Palestinians have been killed and 5,926have been left injured.

The move also aroused sensitivities surrounding Jerusalem’s significance to Palestinians with trending hashtags such as #JerusalemistheCapitalofPalestine and #HandsoffJerusalembeing used to reject Israeli claims to the capital.

Although annexed by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967, East Jerusalem is internationally recognised as occupied territory.


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