BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hezbollah lawmakers said on Thursday that U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital constituted an aggression against Palestine and resistance was the only way to recover lost rights.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision marks the “worst and most dangerous” to come from any American administration, Lebanese Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc said.
Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy on Wednesday by recognising disputed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision has imperilled Middle East peace efforts and upset the Arab world and Western allies alike.
Trump announced his administration would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a process expected to take years and one his predecessors did not undertake to avoid inflaming tensions.
The Hezbollah parliamentary bloc “calls on Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims ... to move swiftly and efficiently,” lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah said in a televised statement.
“The only way to recover rights is the way of resistance”, and Trump’s declaration has eliminated negotiation as a method, the statement said.
The status of Jerusalem — home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions — represents one of the biggest obstacles to a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
The international community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, believing negotiations should resolve its status. No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.
The U.S. decision would have “catastrophic repercussions that threaten regional and international security and stability,” the Hezbollah statement said.
It “represents a treacherous and wicked aggression against Palestine, its people, Islamic and Christian shrines, and the Arab and Islamic worlds”.
Israel views Iran-backed Hezbollah as the biggest threat on its borders. The Shi’ite political and military movement has sent arms to the Palestinian territories, its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said last month.
Hezbollah and Israel fought a war in 2006, which killed around 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, most of them troops. The two have avoided major confrontation since that month-long battle, though tensions rose again earlier this year.
Reporting by Ellen Francis and Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Kevin Liffey