The top leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has called for a new uprising against Israel in the wake of US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Al Jazeera reported.
Ismail Haniyeh spoke to his followers in the Gaza Strip on Thursday and called the US decision an “aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries.” He said that the uprising should begin on Friday, added the Doha-based broadcaster.
“We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision,” added Haniyeh.
Palestinian shops in east Jerusalem, including the Old City, as well as in the West Bank were largely shuttered and schools closed on Thursday after a general strike was called.
The Israeli military on Thursday deployed hundreds of more troops to the occupied West Bank amid uncertainty over the fallout from Trump's decision.
Hamas' ability to carry out attacks has been limited after Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip and arrested many of Hamas' supporters in the West Bank. Even so, Hamas possesses a large arsenal of rockets in Gaza capable of striking many areas in Israel.
'The right thing to do'
In a much controversial move, Trump on Wednesday recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and announced to shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the US leader had said in a speech from the White House. “It's the right thing to do.”
Trump's announcement was followed by severe global criticism and warnings that the move would jeopardise the regional peace and create unrest among the Muslim block of the world.
For Trump, the proclamation on Wednesday was an important way to make good on a pledge to his political base, which includes evangelical Christians and pro-Israel Republicans eager for such a move.
“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver,” the president had declared while announcing his decision. “Today, I am delivering.”