Hamas Vows to ‘Defend Jerusalem,’ Join Forces with Abbas Against U.S.

The State Department froze travel for diplomatic personnel to the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City as Palestinians declared three days of rage in response to President Trump’s expected announcement Wednesday that the U.S. Embassy will be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“With widespread calls for demonstrations beginning December 6 in Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. government employees and their family members are not permitted until further notice to conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank, to include Bethlehem and Jericho. Official travel by U.S. government employees in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank is permitted only to conduct essential travel and with additional security measures,” said the security notice from the U.S. Embassy.

“United States citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence,” the notice added. “We recommend that U.S. citizens take into consideration these restrictions and the additional guidance contained in the Department of State’s travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza when making decisions regarding their travel.”…

Hamas said leader Ismail Haniyeh had been calling regional leaders in advance of Trump’s decision on Sunday, urging the Arab League to hold an emergency meeting on the news. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said today an embassy move would be a “dangerous measure that would have repercussions” across the region.

Haniyeh “warned that this step could be the onset of a critical turning point in the region,” Hamas said, and “added that the Palestinians will defend Jerusalem, their land and rights.”

Hamas said Abbas and Haniyeh spoke about the need to be unified in standing up to the United States. They said both leaders are backing the “days of rage” demonstration beginning Wednesday, and also discussed “the need to mobilize all media effort” toward their cause.

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