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Middle East

Hardline Indonesian Muslim groups burn US, Israeli flags over Jerusalem move

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

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 11:01pm

Hardline Muslim groups in Indonesia burned photos of US President Donald Trump, as well as US and Israeli flags, on Monday during a protest outside the US embassy against Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, has joined a global chorus of condemnation of Trump’s controversial move on Israel, which they say threatens security and stability in the Middle East and the world.

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

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

Hundreds attended the protest outside the US embassy in Jakarta, which was barricaded by barbed wire and dozens of police officers.

“Let us witness the destruction of Israel’s hegemony,” one protest leader shouted into a megaphone as protesters burned an Israeli flag. “We will support Palestine with our blood.”

Many protesters waved Palestinian flags and carried banners supporting “intifada”, or an uprising against Israel, and rally leaders also shouted anti-Semitic slogans.

The protest was led by the Islamic Defenders Front, an aggressive vigilante group that calls for sharia, or Islamic religious law, to be imposed in Indonesia, a secular country.

The demonstration followed a much larger protest at the weekend, where thousands called for diplomatic relations with the United States to be severed and for the US ambassador to be expelled.

Indonesia supports a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict.