Kuwaitis hold rare protest to denounce Trump's Jerusalem move

Protesters gathered at Irada Square outside the National Assembly
A Kuwaiti demonstrator burns a poster of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Kuwait city on December 9, 2017, following the US president's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
By AFP
Sun 10 Dec 2017 08:43 AM

Dozens of people took part in an authorised but rare protest Saturday in Kuwait City to denounce US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Protesters gathered at Irada Square outside the National Assembly carrying banners reading "Jerusalem is an eternal Palestinian capital" and "Terrorism is an American business", an AFP reporter said.

The call to protest had been made by several political groups, including the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and civil society associations.

A "Wanted" poster of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was torched by one protester and trampled on by others.

Authorities allowed protests at Irada Square and outside the Palestinian embassy in Kuwait City, but banned any demonstration near the American embassy.

Speakers urged Kuwait and Arab governments to pressure Trump to reverse his controversial decision, which has sparked protests across the Arab and Muslim world.

Louloua al-Mulla, head of Kuwait's Women's Cultural and Social Society, said the rally was aimed at "voicing the anger of the Kuwaiti people" at Trump's move.

"Trump's decision is unfair. Civil society groups in Kuwait denounce it," she said.

Kuwait's parliament is due to hold a special session on Wednesday to discuss Washington's policy shift.

ICM lawmaker Ossama al-Shahin told AFP his group has asked the government "to take measures against US interests... and we expect to see concrete measures before Wednesday, not just condemnations".

"It is no longer acceptable to have all our investments, political and financial interests in the United States when there are other countries in the world that have much better (political) positions," he added.

Shiite lawmaker Khalil Abdullah said Kuwait, which will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term from January, should use its upcoming position to rally support against Trump's decision.

His recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital sparked three days of protests in the Palestinian territories and demonstrations in Arab and Muslim countries worldwide.

Kuwait was among several Muslim and Arab countries to have condemned the move.

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