As world leaders respond to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday of plans to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, terrorist groups are also making their voices heard as they urge Muslims around the world to unite in a call to jihad.
In a live TV broadcast in Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised the response of Palestinians who took to the streets to protest the U.S. announcement. Haniyeh called for a new intifadah, or uprising, to begin immediately. Calling on Palestinian factions to put aside their differences, Haniyeh declared Friday Dec. 8 a ‘Day of Rage,’ calling on Palestinians to create “the Intifada of the freedom of Jerusalem and the West Bank, the same way Gaza was liberated.”
In Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denounced the U.S. move, accusing President Trump of lacking respect for the international community.
In an address carried by Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV, Nasrallah mocked the “already dead” Middle East peace process but accused President Trump of having the audacity to “announce it’s demise.”
Nasrallah stopped short of calling for military action but called for a sustained campaign by Arab countries aimed at convincing the U.S. to reverse its decision.
He called on Arab states with ties with Israel to sever relations and condemned the recent moves by several Muslim-majority countries looking to normalize ties with the Jewish state.
A mass protest will be held Monday in Beirut’s Hezbollah-dense suburb, he said.
“You will awake one morning and the Israelis will say we were doing some archeological digging and the Al Aqsa mosque collapsed” he said, insinuating that with Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Israel would move to destroy Christian and Muslim holy sites.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, deemed by many analysts as the most dangerous Al Qaeda branch, called on Muslims around the world to support Palestinians and perform “jihad” or holy war, by providing them with money, equipment and weapons.
A statement posted to the group’s encrypted Telegram channel declared that, “Trump is not the owner of the blessed land to give it to the Jews,” while maintaining that, “Jews have no right to a single grain of soil belonging to Palestine and Jerusalem.”
“If you do not act now, then holy Mecca will be sold next,” the statement said.
Somali-based Al Shabaab, also an Al Qaeda affiliate, issued a similar call-to-arms aimed at fighting the ‘U.S.-backed Zionist occupation’ and denouncing the U.S. decision as “aggression at Islam and Muslims.”
“Palestine was and remains holy to Muslims. What was taken by force will be retaken by force,” Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Dheere said.
The Afghan Taliban also released a statement condemning the decision, accusing the U.S. of wanting to wipe out Islam and calling on Muslims to “rightfully” reclaim the ‘occupied land.’
“Finally, America has fully exposed her colonialist face and declared enmity towards Islam as well as support for policy of occupation and colonization of Muslim lands,” the statement said, calling on Muslims and all Islamic countries to declare their solidarity with the holy land and “back the legal resistance of the oppressed Palestinian nation.”
“If the Muslim world fails at giving brotherly hand to one another and approaching their problems in union, recognize anti-Islam plots and continue squandering opportunities, then the moments are close when Muslim sanctums shall further be degraded and the very existence of Muslims shall face immense danger.”