Three Palestinians Killed, Dozens Hurt in Clashes With Israeli Forces in Gaza, West Bank

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Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters clash on the Gaza border, December 15, 2017.
Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters clash on the Gaza border, December 15, 2017.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Three Palestinians were killed and 260 were wounded Friday in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and on the Gaza border, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

The clashes unfolded as thousands of Palestinians protested against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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The Israel Defense Forces said that 3,500 Palestinians took part in protests in 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.

Wheelchair-bound Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who according to medics was killed later on Friday during clashes with Israeli troops near the Gaza border, December 15, 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Some 2,500 took part in protests across the West Bank, torching tires, throwing stones and hurling firebombs at IDF and Border Police forces. According to Palestinian officials, one protester was killed and 103 were wounded in clashes there. The deceased was identified as Mustafa Basel, 29, from the village of Anata.

Meanwhile, thousands of Israeli Arabs held a protest in the northern city of Sakhnin. The city's mayor said at the rally that the protesters reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but "thank him for putting the Palestinian issue on the international agenda. East Jerusalem is a Palestinian Arab city, and it will be the capital of the State of Palestine."

Earlier Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli Border Police officer near Ramallah before being shot and killed.

This is the eighth day of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the wake of Trump's declaration. 

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." 

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