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Al-Aqsa preacher slams Trump for recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 December 2017, 12:16 IST

Israel's Imam Sheikh Ismael Nawahda lashed out at United States President Donald Trump for recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital during Friday's sermon at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Anadolu Agency quoted the Al-Aqsa preacher as saying, "A hundred years have passed since the Balfour declaration, by which [Palestinian] land was given by those who did not possess it to those who did not deserve it."

"Now, on the 50th anniversary of the [Israeli] occupation of Jerusalem, the US administration has recognised this holy land [i.e., Jerusalem] as Israel's capital in blatant disregard for Palestinian and Muslim rights," he added.

Nawahda said he hopes the countries that are opposing the US' move will take strong steps to change the decision.

"We hope the countries that have reacted [negatively] to the US decision. will take concrete steps to reverse it," he said.

The Al-Aqsa preacher claimed that Jerusalem would always belong to Muslims and Arabs.

He further described Jerusalem as "the key to peace and war" in the region.

Earlier on Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apparently announced that his countrymen would no longer work with American peace negotiators in the wake of US President Trump's decision.

On December 6, President Trump had announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

For the unversed, Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed that half of the city.

Though Israel's parliament and the prime minister's home are in Jerusalem, they sit in West Jerusalem, the side of the city Israel has controlled since 1949. 


First published: 16 December 2017, 12:16 IST