Hundreds of Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Ahead of UN Vote on Jerusalem

Protests began as marches in city centers toward checkpoints at Qalandiyah, Beit El, Tul Karm, Hebron and Bethlehem. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports four wounded

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Palestinians protest Trump's decision on Jerusalem at Qalandiyah checkpoint in the West Bank on Wednesday, December 20 2017.
Palestinians protest Trump's decision on Jerusalem at Qalandiyah checkpoint in the West Bank on Wednesday, December 20 2017.Credit: Abbas Momani/AFP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hundreds of Palestinians protested across the West Bank on Wednesday ahead of a UN General Assembly vote on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported four protestors were wounded, one from live fire during clashes in the Ramallah area.

According to the Red Crescent, six were wounded and were taken to the hospital or received treatment in the field. No serious injuries were reported.

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According to the reports, the protests were centered at checkpoints Qalandiya, Beit El, Tul Karm, Hebron and Bethlehem, beginning with marches from the city centers and traveling towards the friction points.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces Qalandiyah in the West Bank on December 20, 2017.Credit: Jacky Khoury

At the beginning of the week, Fatah members called for clashes this Wednesday and Friday as part of the protests against Trump's decision and consequences.

The UN General Assembly is set to meet on Thursday at 5 P.M. Israel time (10 A.M. EST) for an emergency discussion on the unilateral American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Turkey and Yemen requested the meeting after an Egyptian draft resolution against the recognition was presented to the Security Council and was vetoed by the United States, although the 14 other members of the council voted for it.

The most recent protests by Palestinians on the issue occured last week when three were killed and 260 wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem an don the Gaza border according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Israel Defense Forces said that 3,500 Palestinians took part in those protests at nine sites across the Gaza border, torching tires and throwing stones. According to Palestinian officials, two protesters were killed by the security forces' gunfire there. The deceased were identified by Palestinian officials as Yasser Sukar, 23, and Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29, a double amputee. Some 160 protesters were wounded, five of them critically.

Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who was killed Friday in clashes with Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border, has become a symbol of Palestinian protests against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Abu Thuraya, 29, lost both his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2008. A married father of three who lived in the A-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, worked in a carwash since losing his legs, which made his former job as a fisherman impossible.

Early Tuesday morning, a young Palestinian woman was arrested by Israeli forces a day after a video of her punching, slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in a West Bank village went viral.

Since the protests began after Trump’s declaration, eight Palestinians have been killed and more than 350 were wounded, eight seriously.

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