08:57 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Hamas militants. (File)

    Hamas Says Trump's Israel Embassy Decision 'Opens Gates of Hell'

    © REUTERS / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
    Middle East
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    Palestine's Hamas movement has slammed US President Donald Trump over his move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, warning that the decision "opens the gates of hell."

    According to Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan, Trump's "decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region."

    The political and militant group issued its statement on Wednesday, immediately following Trump's announcement that Washington would be relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in six months' time.

    "Trump's decision on Jerusalem will not succeed in changing the fact that Jerusalem is an Arab Muslim land," Radwan said, according to AFP.

    The group urged Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East to work to "cut off economic and political ties with the US embassy and expell the US ambassadors" in order to "cripple" the decision.

    On the eve of Trump's announcement, the Israeli Defense Forces started preparing for unrest in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the latter controlled by Hamas, after the millitant group announced plans to hold a "day of rage" if Washington went ahead with the decision.

    Radwan stated that the US president's decision was "foolish," and that "time will prove that the biggest losers [from it] are" Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Palestine's other major political force, issued its own statement, saying that Trump's decision has "destroyed the two-state solution" and ended Washington's chance of playing a positive role in the regional peace process. Trump "disqualified his country from any role whatsoever" in that process, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters. "As a chief Palestinian negotiator, how can I sit with these people if they dictate on me the future of Jerusalem as Israel's capital," he added.

    On Wednesday, Trump announced that it was "time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," and ordered the State Department to prepare to move the US Embassy. He added that he would do "everything" in his power to faciliate Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.

    response, embassy, move, embassy move, Hamas, Donald Trump, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Palestine, Israel
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