Schools, shops closed in West Bank to protest against Donald Trump's Jerusalem declaration

Palestinians, Israelis and the wider Middle East are bracing for the fallout after President Donald Trump's seismic shift in recognizing the bitterly contested Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Published: 07th December 2017 01:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2017 01:42 PM   |  A+A-

US President Donald Trump (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

JERUSALEM: Schools and shops are closed in the West Bank, as Palestinians are protesting President Donald Trump's recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Political groups have called for protest marches in West Bank town centers at noon on Thursday.

Trump's dramatic break on Wednesday with decades of U.S. policy on Jerusalem counters long-standing international assurances to the Palestinians that the fate of the city will be determined in negotiations.

The Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as a future capital. In recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Trump was seen as siding with Israel which claims the entire city.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accusing his American counterpart of throwing the Middle East into a "ring of fire" by declaring the divided holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Erdogan also compared President Donald Trump to a "blender" that is stirring up trouble in the region.

The Turkish leader said, addressing Trump: "It's not possible to understand what you are trying to get out of it."

Erdogan added that "political leaders exist not to stir things up, but to make peace."

He also said: "If Trump says 'I am strong therefore I am right,' he is mistaken."

Erdogan spoke to a group of workers on Thursday who had gathered at Ankara's airport, before he departed for an official visit to Greece.

Palestinians, Israelis and the wider Middle East are bracing for the fallout after President Donald Trump's seismic shift in recognizing the bitterly contested Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was to travel to Jordan on Thursday to meet with King Abdullah II. The monarch is seen as Abbas' closest Arab ally, and the two leaders might try to coordinate a response to Trump's policy change.

In Wednesday's move, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated peace failures it was past time for a new approach, describing his decision as merely based on reality to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel's government.

Trump also said the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, though he set no timetable for that.

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