Middle East up in flames after Trump’s decision over Jerusalem

International community fears decision could lead to escalation in wider region

Protests swept across the Middle East ager US President Donald Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. The decision sparked scenes of flag-burning in Palestinian territories and Arab nations while world leaders and US allies condemned his move. People were injured in the east part of the Gaza strip, Bethlehem and the old part of Jerusalem when police fired plastic bullets during protests.

Protesters from Turkey to Egypt took to the streets, while Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian territories ordered representatives in Washington to return home. He said the “US had withdrawn from its role in the peace process”. Palestinians set fire to pictures of the US President as Hama, which runs the Gaza strip, threatened a “day of rage” for Friday, warning that Trump had opened the “gates of hell” on US interests in the region. Mr. Trump’s White House speech officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision he said was long overdue after delays by past presidents, as he told his State Department to begin moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv.

There are fears his decision could lead to further bloodshed in the volatile region and delay peace. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision marked a historic day. British PM Theresa May said the status of Jerusalem should be set by Palestine and Israel, while France’s Emmanuel Macron called on the White House to step back. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had consistently spoken against any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace.