Palestinians riot in the West Bank over Trump Jerusalem move

Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been demonstrating against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

December 20, 2017 14:03
2 minute read.
A Palestinian demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops in Bethlehem

A Palestinian demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 20, 2017. (photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)


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Some 800 Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza on Wednesday, clashing with IDF troops in another “Day of Rage” against the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to the IDF, violent protests broke out in Jerusalem, Kalkilya, Halhoul, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm and Kalandia with Palestinians throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at troops and burning tires.

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“Troops used riot dispersal methods against the central instigators,” the army said.

Palestinian media reported that a soldier was lightly wounded when he was hit in the head during clashes in Kalandia, but according to the army, there were no soldiers injured in the riots.

According to a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Red Crescent, 81 Palestinians were injured in the clashes across the West Bank. Three were injured by live bullets, 23 by rubber bullets, and 23 by tear gas. Another 12 were said to have been injured by various accidents related to the riots.

Border Police also arrested two Palestinian men carrying knives in two separate incidents at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. It is believed that they intended to carry out a stabbing attack.

Dozens gathered on Salah a-Din Street in east Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian national Day of Rage.

The Jerusalem protesters, who were mainly elderly people said to be affiliated with the Fatah movement, chanted: “Not west and not east – all of Jerusalem is Palestinians.”

At some point, police dispersed the protesters with pepper gas and stun grenades.

Police told The Jerusalem Post that one protester was detained at the scene.

“Units responded at Damascus Gate to an incident where stones were thrown at officers who dispersed the illegal demonstration,” the police said, adding: “Police units are in the area and will respond to any disturbances if they occur.”

Hundreds of Palestinians also took to the streets in Gaza City, denouncing the US veto on the UN Security Council resolution against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ahead of an emergency session by the UN General Assembly vote scheduled at the request of Arab and Muslim states.

Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been demonstrating against Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem two weeks ago. The riots have led to the deaths of six men, four on the Gaza-Israel border and two in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, 490 people, including 148 minors and 11 women, have been arrested by Israel since the outbreak of violence.

Close to two dozen rockets have been fired toward southern Israel since the outbreak, with several being intercepted – including one over Ashkelon, some 20 kilometers from Gaza – and a number slamming into Israeli territory.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the near-daily rocket fire toward Israel’s southern communities from Gaza over the past two weeks was the “price” Israel had to pay for Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“It was clear to us that there would be a price to pay for Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but it’s a price we are willing to pay,” Liberman told reporters after meeting with the mayors and regional council leaders from the communities surrounding the Hamas-run enclave.

“What’s important now is to strengthen the issue of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not up for negotiation or for division,” he said.

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