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14 Riverside attack was revenge for Trump’s Jerusalem policy: militants

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while delivering remarks at the Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Somali militant group al Shabaab has revealed that they launched a deadly attack on the 14 Riverside hotel and business complex because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The two page statement said: “The Mujahideen (holy warriors) carried out this operation … (as) a response to the witless remarks of U.S. president, Donald Trump, and his declaration of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel.”

On December 6, 2017, Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperilling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

Trump announced his administration would begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step expected to take years and one that his predecessors opted not to take to avoid inflaming tensions.

The status of Jerusalem – home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions – is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s announcement as a “historic landmark,” but other close Western allies of Washington such as Britain and France were critical.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States abdicated its role as a mediator in peace efforts, and Palestinian secular and Islamist factions called for a general strike and rallies on Thursday to protest.

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, believing its status should be resolved in negotiations. No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump’s decision fulfils a campaign promise and will please Republican conservatives and evangelicals who make up a sizeable portion of his domestic support.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said in a speech at the White House. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Over a year later, Nairobi is now reeling from the effects of this decision by the Trump administration.

The latest report from the Kenya Government indicates that 21 people were killed in the Riverside terrorist attack including one American citizen and a British national.

Another 700 people were evacuated but live to tell the tales of horror after a siege that took security agents almost 18 hours to shut down.



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