Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad on Thursday urged Arab and Muslim countries to stop normalizing relations with Israel.
The appeal came in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement one day earlier that Washington planned to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the latter city as Israel’s official capital.
The Palestinian group also called on Arab and Muslim states to "end their alliance and friendship with the U.S."
"We implore Arabs and Muslims to stop taking America as a friend and ally after it chose to stand entirely on Israel’s side,” group spokesman Dawoud Shehab said at a press conference in Gaza City.
"We demand that the  Arab Peace Initiative be shelved and that Arab states stop normalizing relations with the Israeli occupation and close all Israeli diplomatic missions inside their countries," he said.
02:32 dk 07 Aralık 2017 Yeni Şafak Erdoğan: Trump’s Jerusalem step ‘will throw the region into a ring of fire'
U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has set the region ablaze, said Turkey's president. Erdoğan slammed the moving, saying “Taking such a step throws particularly this region into a ring of fire. Mr. Trump, what are you trying to do? What kind of stance is this?” at Esenboğa Airport in the capital Ankara, before leaving for a visit to Greece.
Shehab also called on the Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw its recognition of what he described as the “Zionist entity” in response to the controversial move by the U.S.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
UK's Johnson says Trump's recognition of Jerusalem not helpful
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "not helpful" and that the world would like to see some serious announcements from President Donald Trump on how to resolve Middle Eastern issues.Details to follow.Video: Erdoğan: Trump’s Jerusalem step ‘will throw the region into a ring of fire'Belgium urges EU to take active role on JerusalemAU, Muslim groups condemn Trump’s decision on JerusalemIsraeli troops reinforce West Bank after US move over Jerusalem
Belgium urges EU to take active role on Jerusalem
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Thursday the EU must take a “more active role” in any dialogue in the Middle East over Jerusalem.Speaking in a Radio 1 interview in Belgium, Reynders said the unilateral decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was regrettable.Reynders said there was a huge risk of violence, adding: "We must now move towards dialogue and not take a unilateral decision.""Now the EU needs to play a more active role in the peace process. We have an important position as one of the main trading partners of Israel and one of the main supporters of the Palestinian government," he said.The Belgian minister also stressed that a two-state solution is the right option.Meanwhile, the EU said its "position remains unchanged”."The EU and its Member States will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem embodied in, inter alia, UNSCR 478, including on the location of their diplomatic representations until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved," an EU statement read."A negotiated two-state solution, which fulfils the aspirations of both sides, is the only realistic way of bringing the lasting peace and security that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve," the statement added.On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision to recognize Jerusalem and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv despite widespread international opposition.Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.Ahead of his election last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
AU, Muslim groups condemn Trump’s decision on Jerusalem
The African Union has condemned the decision by U.S President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital, saying this could derail the Middle East peace process.African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki said in a statement, he “regrets the decision which will only increase tensions in the region and beyond”.He reiterated the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and its support to their legitimate quest for an independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.Meanwhile, Muslim groups and civil rights organizations in have also condemned the U.S. president’s decision.South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said in a statement on Thursday Trump’s announcement might ignite conflict and religious confrontation in the Middle East because the city of Jerusalem is sacred to all three monotheistic religions.“It is not the right of the U.S. or any other government or people to decide which city should be the capital of any country,” MJC President Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams said.Abrahams said by moving its embassy, the U.S. will become complicit in Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem and will destroy any chances of a peaceful and viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.“We urgently request the United Nations to protect the rights of the Palestinian people as stated in international resolutions,” he said.Mozambique's Muslim leader Sheikh Ameen Uddin also condemned Trump’s decision saying: “We fear that this might cause more conflicts and create more extremists in the region.”He said Trump had made a wrong decision and should consider correcting it, because the United Nations Secretary General, the Europe Union and Muslim countries all disagree with his announcement on Jerusalem.Sheikh Dinala Chabulika of the Muslim Association of Malawi described Trump’s decision as sad and unacceptable.“As Muslims we cannot accept such a decision, unless Trump corrects it,” he said, adding that they were deeply disappointed by the announcement.Bram Hanekom, a member of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) and a pro-Palestine activist told Anadolu Agency they want the ANC to speed up its policy to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel.During an ANC policy conference in July, the party adopted a recommendation to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a liaison office so as to reduce diplomatic relations.The party said at the time Israel continued to treat Palestine with violence instead of trying to reach an agreement.