Hezbollah's Nasrallah After Trump Speech: Arab World Must Support New Palestinian Intifada

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah urges Arab and Muslim nations to pressure the U.S. into reversing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on December 7, 2017 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address.
An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on December 7, 2017 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address. HANDOUT/AFP

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday called on the Arab and Muslim world to "adopt the Palestinians when they begin a new intifada," speaking in a televised address following U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Nasrallah did not threaten military action over Jerusalem, but said he called for a sustained diplomatic campaign by Arab and Muslim nations to pressure the U.S. into reversing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "The intifada needs to be strengthened and backed by political, economic and strategic spheres."

All peace negotiations must be halted until Trump walks back his declaration, Nasrallah said, which he called an "undisguised American aggression" against the Palestinian people.

However, the U.S. administration is pragmatic and will respond to popular pressure, said Nasrallah. He called on people to take to the streets and flood social media with their protests, and on governments to register their protests with American ambassadors before expelling them.    

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Trump's speech, saying America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital encourages the occupation and construction of Israeli settlements. 

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. 

"We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza.

In exclusive comments to Haaretz, Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian peace negotiator, sharply rebuked Trump's decision.

"President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people: the two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea," Erekat said.

The Lebanese militant group is one of the leading military threats to Israel. Hezbollah attacks forced Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in 2000, and the group went to war with Israel again in 2006.