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Thousands of Americans protest Jerusalem decision in Washington

Demonstrators walk in protest against the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in Washington, DC, December 16, 2017. (Photo via

Thousands of people have held rallies in Washington, protesting at US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital.

The protesters gathered near the White House on Saturday, waving Palestinian flags and carrying banners denouncing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The banners read, "Stop the occupation in Palestine now", "Jerusalem belongs to Palestinians" and "We reject Trump's decision."

In a speech to protesters, Osama Abu Irshaid, the director of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), said, "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine whether Trump or his buddy, the war criminal, Benjamin Netanyahu like it or not."

"If Mr. President wants to give property to the state of Israel, he should give one of his properties if he really owns them," Abu Irshaid said. "But we don't really know how much he owns because he never declared his taxes."

Among the protesters, there were many of Jewish believers from New York and Washington chapters of Jews United Against Zionism.

Members from other Muslim civil rights and advocacy organizations such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS), the US Council of Muslim Organizations, Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) also participated in the event.

On December 6, Trump made the controversial announcement in a speech at the White House, saying his administration would also begin the process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, which is expected to take years.

His decision provoked mass protests worldwide, with many leaders of Islamic countries harshly denouncing the US president.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a communique at the end of an emergency summit on Wednesday, declaring that it would recognize "East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine and invite all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital."

The OIC reaffirmed its continued commitment to the so-called two-state solution for ending the years-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some speakers, however, said the US was no longer deemed reliable to mediate any peace deal. 

OIC members also said they would hold the US responsible for the consequences of Trump's decision.

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