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Pope renews appeal for wisdom and prudence over Jerusalem

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The Holy Father expressed sorrow for the clashes of the past few days that have left people dead, in a press statement released yesterday on Sunday, at Radio Vatican.

Some leaders kept silent, few others reacted ahead of Donald Trump’s speech. The king of Morocco, had expressed on Wednesday “the great concern felt by the Arab and Muslim states and peoples”, the Ennahda movement called on Tunisians to participate massively in a national event on December 8th.

Few African leaders have so far responded to Donald Trump’s announcement. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, said in a statement Wednesday evening. He expressed “deep concern” over the US government’s decision, adding that it “will only increase tensions in the region and beyond and further complicate the search for a solution to the ” Israeli-Palestinian ” conflict. Moussa Faki Mahamat once again expressed “the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and their support for their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State having East Jerusalem as the capital”.

Pope Francis renews his appeal for wisdom and prudence and prays earnestly that leaders of Nations, in this moment of particular gravity, may do everything to avert a new spiral of violence, and may respond, with words and deeds, to the longing for peace, justice and security felt by the people of that suffering land.

The Holy See is following with great attention the developing situation in the Middle East, with special reference to Jerusalem, a city sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims all over the world.

Concerns about peace prospects in the region are the subject of various initiatives over these days, including urgent meetings convened by the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

The Holy See is sensitive to these concerns and, recalling the heartfelt words of Pope Francis, reiterates its well-known position regarding the unique nature of the Holy City and the indispensability of respecting the status quo, in accordance with the agreements of the international community and repeated requests of the hierarchies of the Churches and Christian communities of the Holy Land.

At the same time, the Holy See reiterates its conviction that only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to a stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of two states within internationally recognized borders.

Aftermath of Donald Trump’s announcement, intifada protests and threats started. The first demonstrations erupted on Thursday, the day after the US president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The declaration of Donald Trump will not be long in igniting the Arab world. Recognizing Wednesday night Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite the wave of worries and warnings from the international community, the US President has sparked a public outcry.

“Three days of fire”

If protests remained limited Wednesday outside, including a rally of thousands of people who burned US and Israeli flags and sang “death to America” ​​and “death to Israel” in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian political groups on Thursday called for a general strike and three “days of rage” in the occupied territories.

Speaking from the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a “new intifada”, the only solution he believes is “to face the Zionist policy supported by the United States”.

Mid-day rallies are planned in Ramallah, which serves as the Palestinian political capital, in Bethlehem, also in the occupied West Bank, and during the day in various parts of the Gaza Strip.

Just Thursday morning, photographs of Palestinian protesters, burning portraits of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, were already in circulation.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya

 

 

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