Fatah supporters take part in a rally marking the death anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in Gaza City November 11, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)
Fatah will mark the 53rd anniversary of its official founding this Sunday differently than it has in past years in light of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
While Fatah traditionally holds a number of rallies in the centers of Palestinian cities to celebrate the anniversary, this year it will host marches through the various regions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“The anniversary of the founding this year is taking place under exceptional and different circumstances,” Fatah Vice President Mahmoud al-Aloul said on Tuesday
at a meeting of party officials in Ramallah. “All celebratory events will be turned into popular resistance events.”
Since Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many small protests and clashes with security forces have broken out across the West Bank and on Gaza’s borders.
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said that “Trump’s decision regarding Jerusalem killed any possibility of celebrating this year.”
Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital, while the Palestinians hope east Jerusalem will be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Even though Trump said in his December 6 announcement that the final borders of Jerusalem are up to Israelis and Palestinians to decide in negotiations, Palestinian officials have argued that Trump’s move amounts to supporting Israel’s claim to the entire city.
Zaki added that his party wants the marches on Sunday
to be peaceful.
“Fatah believes in popular resistance as a means to achieve its goal of liberation,” he said in phone interview. “We are calling for nonviolent and peaceful marches.”
Following the marches on Sunday
, Palestinian Authority President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is expected to deliver a speech to mark the anniversary.
Abbas has taken a highly critical position of Trump’s Jerusalem move, declaring the US is no longer qualified to sponsor peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.