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Thousands Protest in Indonesia against Trump’s Jerusalem Move

Thousands Protest in Indonesia against Trump’s Jerusalem Move

Sunday, 17 December, 2017 - 10:30
Tens of thousands protested in Jakarta on Sunday against Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of Indonesians took to the streets of the capital Jakarta on Sunday to protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Wearing white robes and carrying banners reading "Indonesia unites for Palestine" and "Save our Palestine," an estimated 80,000 people rallied in the capital of the world's largest Muslim nation in the 10th straight day of protests.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said the protesters marched peacefully about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the National Monument Park to the US Embassy. Some local media reported the number of the demonstrators was double the police estimate.

A police spokesman said 20,000 police and members of the military were deployed to ensure security.

“We urge all countries to reject the unilateral and illegal decision of President Donald Trump to make Jerusalem Israel’s capital,” Anwar Abbas, the secretary general of the Indonesian Ulema Council, told the crowd.

“We call on all Indonesian people to boycott US and Israel products in this country” if Trump does not revoke his action, Abbas said, reading from a petition due to be handed to the US ambassador in Indonesia.

Previous anti-American protests have unsuccessfully lobbied for a boycott of US goods.

The petition also demanded nations not follow the US in moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss Trump's declaration.

Sunday’s rally the biggest protest in Indonesia since Trump’s controversial move earlier this month to reverse decades of US policy. Police estimated the number attending the rally, organized by various Muslim groups, at about 80,000.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has strongly condemned Trump's move as a violation of UN resolutions.

Indonesia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel and has long been a strong supporter of Palestinian aspirations for a statehood.

The status of Jerusalem, a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is one of the biggest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Jerusalem’s eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state that they seek, while Israel maintains that all of Jerusalem is its capital.

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