President Trump’s Wednesday recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city was praised by Israeli political leaders, but has the nation’s security forces bracing for what is likely to be a massive, and potentially violent, backlash from the Palestinians.
Thousands of Palestinian demonstrators were out in force on Thursday across the Israeli occupied West Bank, with reports of some limited violence. Both Fatah and Hamas are talking about Friday being a “day of rage” across Palestine, however, and the crowds are expected to swell massively.
The fate of Jerusalem naturally has major importance across Palestine, and Fridays are always the fiercest day for protests in the Middle East, with everyone out at the mosques in the morning and taking to the streets immediately thereafter, often with the support of the clergy. Given Jerusalem’s religious important, that’s almost certain to happen again.
Israeli officials are already presenting these protests as “riots” even before they’ve happened, and the expectation is that the far-right government will push for violent crackdowns on the demonstrators, likely to further add to the anger.
While President Trump is quite pleased with himself for the recognition, other US officials are predicting that it seriously threatens regional stability and could do lasting harm to efforts for peace talks.