By Nour Abu Aisha
GAZA CITY, Palestine
Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad on Thursday urged Arab and Muslim countries to stop normalizing relations with Israel.
The appeal came in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement one day earlier that Washington planned to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the latter city as Israel’s official capital.
The Palestinian group also called on Arab and Muslim states to "end their alliance and friendship with the U.S."
"We implore Arabs and Muslims to stop taking America as a friend and ally after it chose to stand entirely on Israel’s side,” group spokesman Dawoud Shehab said at a press conference in Gaza City.
"We demand that the  Arab Peace Initiative be shelved and that Arab states stop normalizing relations with the Israeli occupation and close all Israeli diplomatic missions inside their countries," he said.
Shehab also called on the Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw its recognition of what he described as the “Zionist entity” in response to the controversial move by the U.S.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.