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Jerusalem: Malaysia army 'ready' to play role

Defence minister says the US move on Jerusalem is 'a slap in the face for the entire Muslim world'.

Hishammuddin Hussein

Malaysian defence minister has said that the United States' decision to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel was "a slap in the face for the entire Muslim world", pointing out that his country's military is prepared to perform its duty if its services are required.

"We have to be prepared for any possibilities. The ATM [Malaysian Armed Forces] has always been ready, waiting for instructions from the top leadership," the Malaysian state news agency Bernama quoted Hishammuddin Hussein as saying.

"Let us pray that this dispute would not lead to chaos," Hussein added.

The dramatic shift in Washington's Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and countries around the world.

On Sunday, about 10,000 Indonesians rallied outside the US Embassy in Jakarta in support of Palestinians, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The protesters are carrying banners reading "US Embassy, Gets Out from Al Quds," ''Free Jerusalem and Palestinians" and "We are with the Palestinians." Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Violation of UN resolutions

Sunday's protest, organised by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party, was the second since Trump's decision on Thursday.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has strongly condemned Trump's move, which he described as a violation of UN resolutions.

Indonesia, as the world's most populous Muslim nation, has long been a strong supporter of Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 war, but no country in the world recognises it.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians wanting East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel says the city, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided.

The US president also announced the relocation of US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - a step that might take years to complete.


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