After Wednesday’s announcement from Donald Trump regarding Jerusalem, the expected blowback predicted by literally everyone outside the Republican party has now begun. The declaration that America would formally recognize the historically holy city as the official capital of Israel was intended to make Trump seem friendly to the Jewish state, and look like he was making good on his campaign promise to evangelical voters, who ironically want tensions to escalate in the Middle East in order to hasten what they believe will be the second coming of Christ.
Trump’s plan was supported by, of course, his evangelical Vice President, and by some in his inner circle, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. But more notable were those in Trump’s cadre who were against the idea — the very men he put in charge of America’s diplomacy and America’s defense. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both strenuously objected to the move, according to the Washington Post.
In fact, the State Department, as Trump was giving his speech about Jerusalem, was issuing a new “Worldwide Caution” for travelers to be wary of possible “terrorist actions or political violence” against Americans abroad around the world.
With good reason, it turns out.
Less than twenty-four hours after Trump’s announcement, Palestinian militant political group Hamas, who make up the government of Gaza, made an announcement of their own. Stating that Trump’s action amounted to a declaration of war, Hamas called for a new uprising in the region — an intifada — that would begin on Friday.
Ismael Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, spoke on Thursday:
The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries. We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision.”
There are no overt signs yet of the violence to come, but Palestinian schools have been evacuated and closed down and business has come to a halt, while the Israeli military announced that they would be sending multiple battalions to the West Bank, the area between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
The consequences of Trump’s action on Wednesday could, unfortunately, be felt for generations to come.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images