Hezbollah to renew fight for Palestinian cause

by 11/12/2017 11:08:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, said group will refocus  on the Palestinian cause
  • Nasrallah called for allies in the region to present a united front against Israel amid fifth day of protests
  • It came after Benjamin Netanyahu told the EU that Trump's Jerusalem declaration had 'made peace possible'
  • Netanyahu predicted that European leaders would follow Trump in recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital
  • Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief, said the bloc would recognise the 'international consensus' 

By Chris Pleasance and Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Global Editor, In Jerusalem For Mailonline

Published: 03:49 EST, 11 December 2017 | Updated: 11:08 EST, 11 December 2017

Hezbollah says it will refocus its efforts on fighting the Palestinian cause after Donald Trump chose to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, called on the group and its allies in the region to present a 'united front' against Israel.

His announcement came as thousands of the group's supporters took to the streets of Beirut chanting 'Death to America!' and 'Death to Israel!' while carrying banners that read 'Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of Palestine' and 'Jerusalem is Ours'. Nasrallah had called for the demonstration last week. 

The marches, along with fresh violence in the West Bank and Gaza, came after Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech to EU diplomats in Brussels saying Trump's declaration had 'made peace possible.'  

Hezbollah has announced it will refocus its efforts on fighting the Palestinian cause after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (pictured, anti-Trump banners at a Hezbollah march in Lebanon on Monday)
Hezbollah has announced it will refocus its efforts on fighting the Palestinian cause after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (pictured, anti-Trump banners at a Hezbollah march in Lebanon on Monday)

Hezbollah has announced it will refocus its efforts on fighting the Palestinian cause after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (pictured, anti-Trump banners at a Hezbollah march in Lebanon on Monday)

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the group in Lebanon (right) made the announcement as thousands took to the streets of Beirut in a day of protests against Trump that he had called for (left is the group's former military leader Imad Mughniyeh)
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the group in Lebanon (right) made the announcement as thousands took to the streets of Beirut in a day of protests against Trump that he had called for (left is the group's former military leader Imad Mughniyeh)

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the group in Lebanon (right) made the announcement as thousands took to the streets of Beirut in a day of protests against Trump that he had called for (left is the group's former military leader Imad Mughniyeh)

Marchers chanted 'Death to America!' and 'Death to Israel!' while carrying banners that read 'Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of Palestine' and 'Jerusalem is Ours'
Marchers chanted 'Death to America!' and 'Death to Israel!' while carrying banners that read 'Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of Palestine' and 'Jerusalem is Ours'

Marchers chanted 'Death to America!' and 'Death to Israel!' while carrying banners that read 'Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of Palestine' and 'Jerusalem is Ours'

Benjamin Netanyahu said he believes that European countries will follow Donald Trump in recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will join the US in moving their embassies there
Benjamin Netanyahu said he believes that European countries will follow Donald Trump in recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will join the US in moving their embassies there

Benjamin Netanyahu said he believes that European countries will follow Donald Trump in recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will join the US in moving their embassies there

Netanyahu, who met in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, also said that Israel has prevented terror attacks in Europe and stopped the spread of radical Islam by providing stability
Netanyahu, who met in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, also said that Israel has prevented terror attacks in Europe and stopped the spread of radical Islam by providing stability

Netanyahu, who met in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, also said that Israel has prevented terror attacks in Europe and stopped the spread of radical Islam by providing stability

Benjamin Netanyahu also met with Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, telling Palestinians afterward that the sooner they accept Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel 'the sooner there will be peace'
Benjamin Netanyahu also met with Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, telling Palestinians afterward that the sooner they accept Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel 'the sooner there will be peace'

Benjamin Netanyahu also met with Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, telling Palestinians afterward that the sooner they accept Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel 'the sooner there will be peace'

Macron issued his own, much more measured, statement in which he condemned Hamas rocket attacks on Israel but also called for an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank
Macron issued his own, much more measured, statement in which he condemned Hamas rocket attacks on Israel but also called for an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank

Macron issued his own, much more measured, statement in which he condemned Hamas rocket attacks on Israel but also called for an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank

Protests across the Muslim world entered their fifth day on Monday. Here a Palestinian throws a rock at Israeli security forces near the city of Ramallah, on the West Bank
Protests across the Muslim world entered their fifth day on Monday. Here a Palestinian throws a rock at Israeli security forces near the city of Ramallah, on the West Bank

Protests across the Muslim world entered their fifth day on Monday. Here a Palestinian throws a rock at Israeli security forces near the city of Ramallah, on the West Bank

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued in the West Bank on Thursday. Pictured here, a man kicks a flaming tyre at Israeli security near Ramallah
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued in the West Bank on Thursday. Pictured here, a man kicks a flaming tyre at Israeli security near Ramallah

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued in the West Bank on Thursday. Pictured here, a man kicks a flaming tyre at Israeli security near Ramallah

Palestinian paramedic volunteers carry away an injured protester during clashes near Ramallah on Monday
Palestinian paramedic volunteers carry away an injured protester during clashes near Ramallah on Monday

Palestinian paramedic volunteers carry away an injured protester during clashes near Ramallah on Monday

Israeli security forces observe Palestinian protesters near Ramallah amid violent clashes
Israeli security forces observe Palestinian protesters near Ramallah amid violent clashes

Israeli security forces observe Palestinian protesters near Ramallah amid violent clashes

Masked protesters throw rocks at Israeli security guards near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the West Bank
Masked protesters throw rocks at Israeli security guards near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the West Bank

Masked protesters throw rocks at Israeli security guards near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the West Bank

Protesters burn images of Donald Trump in Gaza City in fury at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
Protesters burn images of Donald Trump in Gaza City in fury at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Protesters burn images of Donald Trump in Gaza City in fury at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Israeli security forces run toward Palestinian protesters as scenes turn violent in the West Bank on Monday
Israeli security forces run toward Palestinian protesters as scenes turn violent in the West Bank on Monday

Israeli security forces run toward Palestinian protesters as scenes turn violent in the West Bank on Monday

'There is now an effort an effort to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration,' he said after meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

'I think we should give peace a chance. I think we should see what is presented and see if we can advance peace.'

'It's time that the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and also recognise the fact that it has a capital. It's called Jerusalem,' he said.

'I believe that, even though we don't have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all, or most, of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.'

Mogherini reiterated that the bloc would continue to recognise the 'international consensus' on Jerusalem.

She repeated the Union's commitment to a two-state solution and that it was in Israel's interest to find a sustainable solution to its conflict with the Palestinians. 

Hamas tunnel destroyed 

The Israeli military destroyed a Hamas tunnel stretching from the Gaza Strip into its territory on Sunday.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, told reporters that Israel had used a new set of 'tools' developed since the 2014 war with Hamas in order to destroy the tunnel. 

He said forces had detected the tunnel months ago and continued to monitor construction efforts by Hamas militants before demolishing it.

Israel has made neutralizing the tunnel threat a top priority since that war, when Hamas militants on several occasions made their way into Israel. 

Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, killing five soldiers in one attack, and terrified the local population.

Conricus said a new system involving combat units, military intelligence, logistics and research had been used to destroy the tunnel.

The EU, she said, would step up its peace efforts and would hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas next month.

She also condemned attacks on Israel and on Jews elsewhere in the world, including in Europe where a synagogue was firebombed in the Swedish city of Gothenburg at the weekend. 

A demonstration condemning Netanyahu's visit is planned for later in the morning in Brussels.

Protesters also took to the streets in Iran, with a few hundred conservatives marching in Tehran, chanting 'the US is a murderer', 'Palestinian mothers are losing their children' and 'Death to America'. 

A neon board on the side of the square announced that there were only 8,240 days left for Israel - a reference to a speech by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he predicted the end of Israel by 2030.

'Mr Trump has done a good job of speeding things up. We were expecting Israel to be dismantled later... but this is the beginning of the end of Israel,' said Hosseini.

'We have to thank him for what he did.'

Netayahu's comments came after a meeting with Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, in which he said the sooner Palestinians can accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital, 'the sooner there will be peace'.

Macron called for Netanyahu to show 'courage' in restarting the peace process and called for an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. 

In a concession to Netanyahu, he started the statement by condemning 'all the attacks of the last few days', including rockets launched by Hamas at the Jewish state.

Netanyahu had earlier said he planned to rebuke Macron for condemning Trump's statement, but ignoring the attacks by Hamas.

The Jewish leader also hit out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had earlier branded Israel a 'terrorist country' that 'kills children'.

'I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran get around international sanctions, and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people,' Netanyahu said. 'That is not the man who is going to lecture us.'

Macron had taken a phone call from Erdogan, according to a source close to the Turkish leader, and agreed that Trump's declaration had not been good for the region. 

Erdogan also spoke to other regional leaders and vowed to do everything possible to reverse the declaration. 

Armed members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamist organisation Palestinian Islamic Jihad, march in Gaza
Armed members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamist organisation Palestinian Islamic Jihad, march in Gaza

Armed members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamist organisation Palestinian Islamic Jihad, march in Gaza

The Al-Quds brigades took to the streets of Gaza City on Monday to protest against Donald Trump's decision
The Al-Quds brigades took to the streets of Gaza City on Monday to protest against Donald Trump's decision

The Al-Quds brigades took to the streets of Gaza City on Monday to protest against Donald Trump's decision

Palestinian women wave national flags while chanting slogans during an anti-Trump march in Gaza City
Palestinian women wave national flags while chanting slogans during an anti-Trump march in Gaza City

Palestinian women wave national flags while chanting slogans during an anti-Trump march in Gaza City

Marchers holding a Palestinian flag walk through the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Monday
Marchers holding a Palestinian flag walk through the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Monday

Marchers holding a Palestinian flag walk through the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Monday

As Netanyahu spoke protesters in Indonesia took to the streets for a fifth straight day of demonstrations
As Netanyahu spoke protesters in Indonesia took to the streets for a fifth straight day of demonstrations

As Netanyahu spoke protesters in Indonesia took to the streets for a fifth straight day of demonstrations

Effigies of Donald Trump were burned in the street in anger at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Effigies of Donald Trump were burned in the street in anger at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Effigies of Donald Trump were burned in the street in anger at his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

An Indonesian protester holds the Palestinian national flag during a rally against Trump held in Jakarta on Monday
An Indonesian protester holds the Palestinian national flag during a rally against Trump held in Jakarta on Monday

An Indonesian protester holds the Palestinian national flag during a rally against Trump held in Jakarta on Monday

Earlier on Sunday, a 25-year-old Israeli security guard was left in critical condition after being stabbed at Jerusalem's central bus station.

The guard was attacked with a kitchen knife by a 24-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank as he approached a metal detector who fled but was arrested after being tackled by a passerby. 

Meanwhile demonstrators burned Israeli flags and clashed with police elsewhere in the West Bank, while Palestinian Christians also held a march denouncing Trump's decision.

In Lebanon scenes outside the US embassy turned ugly as police were forced to use tear gas and water cannon to force back rioters who tried to storm the building.  

Marchers in Jalalabad,Afghanistan, also burned effigies of Trump and thousands gathered on the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia, in a fourth straight day of anger.  

Missiles were fired into Israel from Gaza on Friday night, provoking a response from Israeli fighter jets and tanks that left two members of Hamas dead.

The most serious disturbances came at Rachel's Tomb near Hebron, in Tulkarm and on the outskirts of Bethlehem.

A Palestinian youth was critically injured when he was hit in the eye by a rubber bullet in Ramallah, local media reported. The Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, denied this, saying that protesters were 'precisely injured in the lower part of the body'.  

A 25-year-old Israeli security guard is in critical condition in hospital after being stabbed at Jerusalem's central bus station 

Police say they have arrested a 24-year-old man and are questioning him, but say his background and motivation are not clear
Police say they have arrested a 24-year-old man and are questioning him, but say his background and motivation are not clear

Police say they have arrested a 24-year-old man and are questioning him, but say his background and motivation are not clear

The attack happened as violent clashes continued across the West Bank and Gaza after Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital city

Demonstrators attempted to break into the embassy in Lebanon before police managed to force them back
Demonstrators attempted to break into the embassy in Lebanon before police managed to force them back

Demonstrators attempted to break into the embassy in Lebanon before police managed to force them back

A burning Israeli flag is draped across barbed wire outside the US embassy in Aukar, east of Beirut, on Sunday
A burning Israeli flag is draped across barbed wire outside the US embassy in Aukar, east of Beirut, on Sunday

A burning Israeli flag is draped across barbed wire outside the US embassy in Aukar, east of Beirut, on Sunday

Protesters run from riot police after they used water cannon and tear gas outside the American embassy
Protesters run from riot police after they used water cannon and tear gas outside the American embassy

Protesters run from riot police after they used water cannon and tear gas outside the American embassy

Meanwhile, three Israelis were wounded as a bus travelling near Haifa in northern Israel came under attack by Arab youths hurling rocks.

The driver was injured by flying glass and evacuated to hospital while two passengers were treated at the scene, near the town of Arara. Police made two arrests.

Demonstrations were also held elsewhere in the country, including in Umm el-Fahm, Rehat, Tira and Tamra, but these were significantly smaller than those seen on Friday's 'day of rage'.

Nevertheless, the protests on Friday and the subsequent scuffles were less serious than had been expected, falling well short of the 'new intifada' demanded by Hamas. 

It came after about 25,000 Israelis demanded that Mr Netanyahu resign by taking to the streets of Tel Aviv last night, chanting 'mafia, mafia', and 'being a pig isn't kosher'.

They were voicing concerns over claims that Mr Netanyahu received gifts from wealthy businessmen and made a deal with a newspaper for positive reporting, and that legislation was drafted to keep the allegations secret.

A similar protest in Haifa turned violent when a group of anarchists supporting the boycott of Israel joined the march.

The rallies followed a huge demonstration last week, when about 30,000 people spontaneously protested against corruption on Rothschild Boulevard, one of Tel Aviv's most iconic streets, in one of the largest rallies in recent memory.

Naftali Bennett, the Right-wing leader of the Bait Yehudi party, made a bold pitch to become Israel's next prime minister, saying he has 'broad experience in business, economics, government and security and I plan to use all of it.' He stopped short, however, of calling for early elections.

In a further sign of diplomatic backlash over the Trump announcement, a Palestinian Authority official confirmed that its president, Mahmoud Abbas, would pull out of a meeting with US vice president Mike Pence later this month.

A White House aide said that the meeting was still scheduled, however, adding that would be 'counterproductive' for Mr Abbas to cancel it.

Palestinian officials are understood to be lobbying the UN security council to pass a resolution demanding that the US withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Fourteen out of the 15 members of the Security Council condemned Mr Trump's move in an emergency meeting in New York on Friday.

Yesterday, the Arab League demanded that the US change its stance on Jerusalem for fear that it would stoke further unrest across the region. 

Israeli authorities demolish several graves in the historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery near a mosque

Israeli forces were seen at Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery in East Jerusalem on Sunday after Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem's historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

It is thought those destroyed were Muslim graves.

The cemetery has a long history of people destroying graves in political and religious protests.

Israeli forces are seen at Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery in East Jerusalem on December 10, 2017. Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem's historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli forces are seen at Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery in East Jerusalem on December 10, 2017. Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem's historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces are seen at Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery in East Jerusalem on December 10, 2017. Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished several graves in occupied East Jerusalem's historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Two men in high-visibility vests can be see walking away from the Israeli forces at the historic cemetery in Jerusalem
Two men in high-visibility vests can be see walking away from the Israeli forces at the historic cemetery in Jerusalem

Two men in high-visibility vests can be see walking away from the Israeli forces at the historic cemetery in Jerusalem

Armed Israeli forces are seen patrolling the area where graves were said to have been demolished on Tuesday. It is thought they were Muslim graves
Armed Israeli forces are seen patrolling the area where graves were said to have been demolished on Tuesday. It is thought they were Muslim graves

Armed Israeli forces are seen patrolling the area where graves were said to have been demolished on Tuesday. It is thought they were Muslim graves

Two young Israeli soldiers smile at the camera as their colleagues patrol the hillside cemetery amid rising tensions in the country
Two young Israeli soldiers smile at the camera as their colleagues patrol the hillside cemetery amid rising tensions in the country

Two young Israeli soldiers smile at the camera as their colleagues patrol the hillside cemetery amid rising tensions in the country

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