Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar which is the supreme Islamic institution of Sunni Muslims, on Tuesday warned that “the gates of hell” will open if the United States goes through with plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.
In a statement published following his meeting with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, el-Tayeb said such a move would ignite the feelings of anger among all Muslims, endanger global peace and increase tensions, divisions and hatred around the world.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday informed Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas by phone of his intention to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, Abbas's office said.
Later on Tuesday, administration officials confirmed that Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a speech on Wednesday and also instruct the State Department to begin preparations for the embassy move.
El-Tayeb’s warning came hours after Hamas urged "Palestinians and intifada youth" to turn this coming Friday into a "day of rage" against the "occupation" in protest of the intentions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy.
In an official statement, Hamas stressed the importance of arriving at points of friction with the "occupation" in order to "convey the voice of our people that any attack on Jerusalem would bring on an explosion."
Hamas also called on fighters to respond to the American decision on Jerusalem "by all available means".