Palestinian Rioters Clash With Israeli Troops at Friday Demonstrations
Hundreds of Palestinian rioters clashed with Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip and West Bank on Friday in what they said were protests against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Such disturbances occur weekly, but tensions have risen following President Donald Trump’s announcement on Dec. 6, which stirred anger across the Arab and Muslim world and concern among Washington’s European allies, as well as Russia. The move was welcomed by Israel.
“There is almost nothing left for the United States to do before it clearly declares a state of war against the Palestinian people, its authority and leadership,” wrote commentator Rajab Abu Serreya in the widely-circulated Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam.
A total of 17 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed in the flare-up since Trump’s announcement, though analysts say neither Israel nor the Palestinians are interested in a major escalation.
A few hundred Gazans approached the border fence with Israel, throwing stones at soldiers who tried to disperse them by firing canisters of tear gas, according to Reuters video. Smaller crowds gathered in a couple of West Bank cities where protesters threw stones and burned tires. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and threw stun grenades.
Palestinian medical officials claimed 14 Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition in Friday’s clash. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the reports.