Rabat – Israel has been preparing for in-country backlash against US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
Before Friday prayers in Al Aqsa mosque, the Israeli government deployed hundreds of extra security forces, fearing the anger of protesters, who see Trump’s decision as a major shift of US support towards Israeli claims to the city.
Protests were not only taking place in Al Quds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem) but also as far as Indonesia and Malaysia, where protesters headed to US embassies to express their anger over Trump’s decision.
On Wednesday, Trump delivered a speech in the White House, formally declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The president added that he also ordered his aides to start process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that provoked Muslims around the world.
While many in Israel, as well the US and around the world, were celebrating the US recognition, intense protests took place in the area by Palestinians on Wednesday night denouncing Trump’s decision. Arab leaders, including King Mohammed VI, also voiced their condemnation of the unprecedented move.
Arab leaders believe that the US move will undermine peace and escalate tensions between Israel and Palestine. Potentially violent protests have been also expected after the decision was made.
As protesters called for a “day of rage on Friday” to protest against Trump’s decision, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Intifada (Palestinian uprising), a decision which was fully supported by Lebanese Islamist party Hezbollah.
Protests will be carried out in different countries, including Morocco where a “million person” march is going to take place on Sunday. The National Group for Palestine (NGP) and the Moroccan Association for the Support of the Palestinian Cause (MASPC) called on citizens to take to the streets of Rabat to protest against Trump.