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US, Israel decisions on al-Quds threat to Palestine: Hamas chief

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the press on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on September 19, 2017. (AFP photo)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has warned against the “rash decisions” of the US and Israel with regard to Jerusalem al-Quds as a historic threat against Palestine.

In a Tuesday speech, Haniyeh described US President Donald Trump’s recognition of East Jerusalem al-Quds as “the beginning of the end of Israel.”

He said to serious efforts are underway across the region based on two main strategies, including not recognizing Israel and supporting the resistance movement.

If the entire world recognizes al-Quds as the capital of Israel, such a “futile” measure will not create any commitment for the Palestinian nation, the Hamas chief said.

He underlined the need for national reconciliation among Palestinian factions, noting that the new threats against the Gaza Strip and al-Quds make it necessary for all Palestinians to find a national strategy with regard to the issue.

Haniyeh stressed the importance of resistance in Palestine’s economic and military strategies and by the media.

The remarks came amid the ongoing wave of protests and general strikes across the Palestinian territories in protest at US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

A Palestinian protester throws back a tear-gas canister towards Israeli forces during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 23, 2018. (AFP photo)

On Tuesday, shops, government institutions, and businesses closed as part of the strike action. Public transportation unions also participated in the walkout action.

Pence landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, marking the highest-level visit by a US official to the region since Trump’s decision.

Washington’s dramatic U-turn on Jerusalem al-Quds drew global condemnations, prompting the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly approve a resolution against Trump’s declaration.

The Palestinian Authority says it would reject all so-called peace talks, sponsored by the US, until Washington rescinds its decision on al-Quds.

The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is currently under Israel’s control, while the regime also claims the city’s eastern part, which hosts the third holiest Muslim site.

The city, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state, has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967 Arab War.

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