Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike have raised their voices against U.S. President Donald Trump's official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the three faiths in the city are united even though politics creates division among the people.
After Trump's controversial Jerusalem call, Palestinians put out the Christmas lights outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in protest. Fredrick Hazo, 59, accused the American president of stirring trouble and called on him to withdraw his declaration, Reuters relayed.
Many Christians in the U.S. agree with Trump and support the Biblical view that Jerusalem is Israel's ancient capital. Mike Evans, an evangelical from Dallas, said they were proud that the U.S. president had stood up to make that declaration.
However, 33-year-old Palestinian supermarket cashier Mohammed al-Hawa thinks that Trump has to consider the complicated situation in Jerusalem. He said the people of faith live in harmony there and that it was only politics that divided them.
"Christians, Jews and Muslims live in this city together. There is no problem between them. Only the politics. The governments want to make wars," said al-Hawa.
Another Palestinian said: "This is my city - my blood, my life."
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said its policy of listing Jerusalem-born American citizens' place of birth as simply "Jerusalem" with no country indicated has not changed. The announcement came after the Zionist Organization of America called on the department to alter the policy in light of Trump's declaration, Arutz Sheva reported.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier said the State Department would start implementing Trump's move immediately, which also involves moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, the department told The Associated Press that it was still examining the situation and promised to announce how Jerusalem would be treated in regard to Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and other government documents.