Violence, protests and arrests have followed US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The decision broke with decades of US policy on Jerusalem.
The international community has never recognised Israel’s claim to the entire city.
Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan to divide historical Palestine between Jewish and Arab states, Jerusalem was granted special status and was meant to be placed under international sovereignty and control.
This status was based on the city’s religious importance to the three Abrahamic religions; Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, as the capital of their future state. Israel meanwhile insists that the city is its indivisible capital.
Here are five key developments since Trump’s announcement:
A wave of anger spread from the Middle East to the rest of the world in the days following President Trump’s announcement. More than a week on, tens of thousands continue to demonstrate.
Solidarity rallies have spread as far as Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Rabat, Chicago and Tokyo.
In the Middle East, protesters took to the streets of Amman, Beirut, the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
While Friday is a key day for rallies in the Muslim world, protesters have taken to the streets daily in the occupied Palestinian territories, prompting the excessive use of force by Israeli security.
On December 14, they closed Gaza’s border crossings for goods and pedestrians.
|The Palestinian Red Crescent has provided medical assistance to more than 1,933 people in the Palestinian territories since Trump’s announcement [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]|
Rockets and deadly air strikes
Israel launched a series of air strikes, some of which turned deadly, against Palestinian targets in the days following Trump’s announcement.
Israeli officials claim these strikes were in response to rockets from inside the Gaza Strip.
On December 14, Israel struck a number of Hamas sites, including a naval facility and a military base near the Al Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.
More than 10 strikes were carried out in total, leading to at least two deaths (see below) and damage to sites and nearby houses, according to a Palestinian security source.
|Israeli security forces have arrested more than 260 Palestinians since Trump’s decision [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]|
Deaths and injuries
At least four Palestinians have been killed by Israel since Trump’s announcement, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
On December 8, two Hamas fighters were killed in an Israeli air raid on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The individuals killed were identified as Mahmoud al-Atal, 28 and Mohammed Safadi, 30.
Israeli troops shot and killed two other Palestinians on the same day amid protests on the Israel-Palestine border.
The Palestinian Red Crescent has provided medical assistance to more than 1,933 people across the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Washington’s policy change, according to the group.
Israeli security forces have arrested more than 260 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Trump’s declaration, according to a statement made by the Palestinian Prisoners Society on December 13.
Several of those arrested are children, including 16-year-old Fawzi al-Junaidi. An image of the teenager, blindfolded and surrounded by more than 20 Israeli occupation forces, was widely denounced as it was shared on social media earlier this week. He has denied charges of throwing stones.
Al-Junaidi was charged with throwing stones at a group of armed Israeli soldiers [Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu]
Turkey seeks UN annulment
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will launch initiatives at the United Nations to have Washington’s “disgraceful” decision annulled, the country’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on Friday.
“As a country, we are determined to do our bit on this issue. We will wash the dirty laundry of those who breach international law,” Erdogan said in a speech on Friday.
“We will work to annul this unlawful decision, first in the Security Council and then in the U.N. General Assembly, if it is vetoed there.”
He added that Ankara will encourage other countries to recognise the Palestinian state.
“Right now, 137 countries in the world recognise the Palestinian state. God willing, this number will further increase with our efforts,” he said.
Muslim leaders’ denouncement
Erdogan called an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for December 13 following Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.
During the meeting in Istanbul, the 57-member group denounced Trump’s move as “null and void” and called on the United Nations to “end the Israeli occupation” of Palestine.
Muslim leaders warned that Trump’s administration will be liable for “all the consequences of not retracting from this illegal decision”, saying they remain committed to a “just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution”.
Founded in 1969, the OIC bills itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world”.