77 Palestinians Arrested in Jerusalem Riots Since Trump's Declaration

Israeli forces have raided homes of 37 Palestinian suspects in targeted operations throughout East Jerusalem ■ IDF raids two West Bank universities, seize 'material aimed at incitement'

Undercover Israeli police arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes amid protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 13, 2017.
Nasser Shiyoukhi / AP

Seventy-seven Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem for participating in "violent demonstrations" in the week since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Israel Police announced on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Israeli military raided two universities in the West Bank and confiscated "materials aimed at inciting terror."

According to the police, 37 Palestinians were arrested over the past 48 hours in East Jerusalem in a targeted operation. Dozens of Israeli police officers raided the homes of suspects in the neighborhoods of A-Tur, Shoafat, Wadi Joz, Ras al Amud, Isawiyah and the Old City. The suspects were detained and brought in for questioning. The police said that the rest of the detainees were arrested during demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Israeli military raided two universities in the West Bank - Al-Quds University in Abu Dis and Bir Zeit University in Bir Zeit. The military said soldiers seized materials related to incitement,including posters, flags and other materials.

Thursday saw the most violent clashes in Jerusalem since last week. Throughout the day demonstrations and clashes took place at the square of Nablus Gate in the Old City. Palestinians sources said that 27 people were injured. Police arrested six people suspected of involvement in the clashes.

In the Palestinian cities of Tul Karm and Ramallah, three people were reported injured by rubber bullets. Also in Tul Karm, the Red Crescent said that 34 people were hurt as a result of gas inhalation.

In the Gaza Strip, one man was injured in clashes near the Erez Crossing, and two were injured from live fire east of Rafah in the south of the Strip.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas' political wing in Gaza, spoke Thursday night in Gaza City amid celebrations marking 30 years since the establishment of Hamas, saying that "the uprising against Trump's decision caused cracks in the stance of the United States and isolated the administration.

"We are acting to cancel Trump's decision and we will bring him down once and for all Trump's declaration is more dangerous than the Balfour Declaration," Haniyeh charged.

He said that the Palestinians "were acting with Arab Islamist elements to make every Friday a day of rage for Jerusalem and exacerbate the protest against Trump's decision." 

On Wednesday, 44 Palestinians were hospitalized following clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Three rockets were also fired from Gaza toward Israel, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Israel struck three Hamas targets in response to the fire.

At least 15 rockets have been fired in the days since Trump's announcement - the highest number since the end of the 2014 Gaza war.