Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calls for a new Intifadah during a speech in Gaza City, on December 7, 2017 (Photo by Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:40 PM) – Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Palestinian political party and resistance movement Hamas, has called for a Third Intifada, following announcements by United States president Donald Trump that the US would “recognize” Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel”, and would move its Tel Aviv embassy to the city.

“We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” Haniyeh said in a speech he delivered in Gaza on Thursday.

The Hamas leader furthermore called on all Arab states to cease all cooperation with the United States in protest, and reiterated that Hamas stands by its belief that “united Jerusalem remains the capital of the whole Palestine.”

The Israeli military has in the meantime announced that it will step up its military presence in the West Bank, possibly in preparation for an Intifada scenario.

Officially, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel, particularly because East Jerusalem, which as an Arab and Muslim majority, is officially considered Palestinian land. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority claims East Jerusalem as its capital city. However, since 1967 East Jerusalem has been under military occupation by the Israeli armed forces, an occupation that is widely considered illegal.

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