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12:00, 17 January 2018 Wednesday
15:44, 11 December 2017 Monday

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US Jerusalem move ‘declaration of war’: Al-Aqsa imam
US Jerusalem move ‘declaration of war’: Al-Aqsa imam

Imam of Jerusalem’s iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque urges Palestinians to protect city ‘at all costs’

World Bulletin / News Desk

Last week’s decision by the U.S. administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is tantamount to a “declaration of war”, according to Ekrima Sabri, head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Authority and imam of the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Sabri asserted that recent protests seen across the world to protest the U.S. move indicated that Jerusalem “doesn’t only belong to Palestinians, but to all Muslims”.

He went on to urge Palestinians and the people of Jerusalem to safeguard the holy city “at all costs”.

“American arrogance will not achieve anything; our position emanates from our [religious] beliefs,” Sabri said.

He added: “Negotiations -- or any kind of peace process -- are now out of the question because the U.S. has already decided its position on Jerusalem, contradicting itself and choosing war.”

Despite widespread regional and international opposition, U.S. President Donald Trump last Wednesday announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to Trump, the U.S. State Department has already begun preparations to relocate Washington’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The dramatic shift in U.S. policy sparked demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim countries.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

During his electoral campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and acknowledge Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.

In April, Moscow announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, expressing hope that the city’s eastern half might eventually serve as Palestine’s capital.

Notably, in his announcement last week, Trump stressed that his administration had yet to take a position regarding “the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem”. 



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