Palestinians Clash With Israeli Soldiers Over Trump's Jerusalem Decision

At least 22 wounded, one seriously as protests erupt in Gaza and the West Bank ■ Israel reinforcing troops in the West Bank ■ Demonstrators burn pictures of Trump

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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A Palestinian protester stands between burning tyres during clashes with Israeli troops near the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 7, 2017.
A Palestinian protester stands between burning tyres during clashes with Israeli troops near the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 7, 2017.Credit: AFP Photo / Abbas Momani
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

At least 19 Palestinians were wounded on Thursday in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza during clashes with Israeli soldiers following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Red Crescent.

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Seven Palestinians were wounded at demonstrations checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Four were said to have been wounded by live fire and two by rubber bullets. Eight were wounded by rubber bullets in Tul Karm, three in Bethlehem. Four Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Confrontations were also reported in Nablus and Jenin. A military spokeswoman said soldiers had used "riot-dispersal gear" against hundreds of rock-throwers. Dozens of demonstrators were treated for inhalation of tear gas.

In Gaza, east of Khan Younis, three Palestinian protesters were wounded by live fire, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Palestinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah December 7, 2017.Credit: REUTERS / Mohamad Torokman

>> Jerusalem recognition could spark widespread Arab unrest – this time, with no end in sight | Analysis ■ Trump hasn’t killed the peace process, he just pronounced it dead | Analysis ■ Jerusalem for dummies: Why the world doesn’t recognize it as Israel’s capital

Demonstrations in Ramallah, Tul Karm, and Nablus were attended by many hundreds of demonstrators, some of whom burned pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump. Dozens of Palestinians also protested in several locations throughout the north and center of the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank cities of Hebron and Al-Bireh, thousands of demonstrators rallied with chants of "Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine," witnesses said. Some Palestinians threw stones at soldiers.

The Israeli military said it was reinforcing troops deployed in the West Bank in response to the protests. Several new army battalions would be deployed and other forces put on standby, a military statement said, calling the measures "part of the IDF's readiness for possible developments."

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 7, 2017.Credit: AFP PHOTO / Thomas Coex

A protest of around 20 Palestinian women was held at Damascus Gate at the entrance to Jerusalem's Old City. About half the schools in East Jerusalem were closed on Thursday, and those that were open were barely attended.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Amman to meet King Abdullah II of Jordan to coordinate positions on Trump's Jerusalem decision.

Trump's decision has garnered condemnation from leaders around the world and calls by Hamas to "ignite a new intifada."

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday called for a new uprising against Israel following the announcement. In reference to Jerusalem, he said Trump's televised remarks on Wednesday were "a declaration of war" against "the diamond in the Palestinian crown," and said those who believe that the Palestinian people will reconcile itself to Trump's newly declared policy are deluding themselves."

Leaders throughout the Middle East warned that Trump's decision would spark outrage in the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Trump on Thursday of throwing the Middle East into a "ring of fire" by declaring the divided holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Saudi Arabia is "deeply disappointed" by U.S. President Donald Trump's speech on Jerusalem, the Kingdom's embassy in Washington announced on Wednesday. King Salman called Trump on Tuesday ahead of the president's speech, and warned him of the "dangerous consequences" of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah lawmakers said the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital constituted aggression against Palestinians and resistance was the only way to recover lost rights.

Israeli forces take position during clashes with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 7, 2017 on December 7, 2017.Credit: AFP Photo / Abbas Momani

With reporting by Reuters.

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