Demonstrators shout slogans during protests against the U.S. declaration to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city as the capital of Israel December 6, 2017 - REUTERS
CAIRO – 11 December 2017: “Jerusalem is not for Palestinians only, but for all Muslims and Christians,” said Lebanese politician Gehad al-Samad on Sunday.
Samad asserted that power is needed to protect rights, adding that Israel is the enemy of all Arab nations. He called on all Arab and Islamic states to cut diplomatic ties with the U.S. and boycott all American products.
Dozens of Lebanese took to the streets on Sunday to protest American President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters near the U.S. embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during the demonstration, TV footage showed.
Protesters, some of them waving the Palestinian flag, set fires in the street and threw projectiles toward security forces, who barricaded the main road leading to the U.S. embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut.
During an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil stated that Arab nations must impose economic sanctions against the U.S. so as to prevent Washington from moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem.
"Pre-emptive measures must be taken against the decision […] beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions," said Bassil during the Saturday meeting of foreign ministers at the Arab League in Cairo, according to Reuters.
Basil's speech received blessing of all Arab delegations and journalists who attended the urgent summit in Cairo, as he affirmed that “I call you all for an Arab-Arab reconciliation for the salvation for the Arab nation and restoration of its dignity.”
“Let's call for an urgent Arab summit with the title of Jerusalem,” Basil said.
Arab foreign ministers unanimously rejected the U.S. decision during the emergency meeting, considering it invalid and in violation of international laws and U.N. Security Council resolutions.
They stressed their belief that the decision is illegal, as it undermines the peace process, deepens tensions and elicits anger.
They called on the U.S. to cancel its decision and work with the international community to oblige Israel to end its occupation of Palestine through a peaceful solution that guarantees the establishment of a state with Jerusalem as its capital.
They urged the Security Council to issue a resolution confirming that the U.S. decision contradicts internationally legitimate resolutions.
On this regard, Arab foreign ministers agreed to convene an emergency Arab summit in Jordan and also agreed to maintain the Council of the Arab League in permanent session in order to evaluate the situation and to agree on future steps.
They called for upholding the relevant Security Council resolutions that reject any shift in the current legal status of Jerusalem.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that U.S. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital cast a shadow over the peace process in Palestine, describing the decision as a regrettable shift in American policy.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari called on taking unconventional decisions and not just data, as this decision will lead to tensions in the region and religious conflict.
Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman El Safdy said that peace will not be achieved between Israel and Palestine without Jerusalem, declaring Jordan's rejection of the U.S. decision.
Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that unilateral measures are null and void.
Saudi Arabia expressed its total rejection of the U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia has warned that any U.S. declaration on Jerusalem would have a negative impact on peace negotiations, undermine the efforts already exerted and provoke Palestinians.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki expressed his regret for the U.S. policy, as there is no peace without Palestine and no Palestine without Jerusalem.