Palestinian protests against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew praise from a top diplomat at the United Nations on Friday.
“From this podium, I would like to commend our great Palestinian people who defend Jerusalem today in its neighborhoods, streets and places of worship,” Palestinian diplomat Riyad Mansour told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
Trump’s announcement this week sparked Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and around the region after European and Arab leaders warned that a plan to move the U.S. embassy to the city could lead to violence. Mansour’s salute to the protesters coincides with the “day of rage” declared by Hamas, an organization with a political and a terrorist wing, which vowed violent reprisals against Israel.
“I would like to commend those at the gates of Amoud and in all of the villages and Palestinian camps and all over the world,” Mansour said.
Trump’s allies have cited the clashes as evidence that Palestinian leaders prefer to “incite violence” rather than negotiate in good faith for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian standoff.
“What today’s protests show is there would be less violence in the region if the Palestinian Authority didn’t promote it, whether by design or inaction,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said in a Friday statement. “Whatever their policy disagreements with the Israeli government, the PA and Fatah have the responsibility to prevent this violence from escalating any further. And the United States will never accept a 'rioter's veto' against our policies.”
Mansour insisted that Trump is to blame for the violence, which reportedly has seen at least one Palestinian killed and more than a dozen other people wounded.
“I would like to commend the honorable who support and defend international law and our rights and the resolutions of the Security Council, those who call for — and we support them — they call for the U.S. administration to withdraw its illegal decision, irresponsible decision, its provocative decision, that has absolutely no meaning except pleasing the occupying power of Israel,” Mansour said.