KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia– Palestine’s Head of Hamas in Diaspora, Maher Salah, today expressed the hope that Malaysia would lead a political effort to stand up against United States President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

He said Malaysia should use its influence and respect in the Arab and Muslim world to lead the effort at different levels to fight ‘the blatant decision’ on the Holy City which had been rejected by most countries in the world, including those in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

“Our people on the ground in Palestine, in the Arab and Muslim world, and other countries will express their anger and rejection of the decision today after the Friday prayers.”

“We will fight against this decision. It’s not to be implemented. This is the capital of Palestine, it will always be a Palestinian, Muslim and Arabic city, and it is holy for the Muslims and Christians,” he told reporters after paying a courtesy call on the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) , Dr Ronald Kiandee, at Parliament House.

Salah and Kiandee discussed the stand of the Malaysian government and parliament in rejecting Trump’s decision, which Salah said was very clear and represented all the Malaysian people.

The New York Times reported that Trump on Wednesday formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, in his policy speech at the UMNO General Assembly yesterday said Malaysia would never accept the proposal to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Asked if there was a possibility for the next Intifada (Palestine uprising against Israel), Salah smiled and said: “We have seen the first sparks of the next Intifada”.

Kiandee said he hoped that the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be evaluated thoroughly as it was important for the decision to not negatively affect the peace process.

“As members of parliament, we support the move by the government, the announcement by the Prime Minister yesterday and the statement issued by the Foreign Minister calling on President Trump to look into the decision again as it will negatively impact the ongoing peace process between Israel and Palestine,” he said.

Later, Georgia’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Nikoloz Apkhazava, paid a courtesy call on Kiandee, also at Parliament House.