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New clashes as deadly fallout over Jerusalem continues

Mohammed Abed, AFP | Palestinian protesters carry away an injured man during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border fence with Israel, east of Gaza City, on December 15.

Palestinian protesters clashed anew with Israeli forces on Friday as the fallout continued from US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with two Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.


Following Muslim prayers on Friday, Palestinians set fire to tires and threw rocks at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas and live fire in the West Bank and along the Gaza border.

Israeli police said a Palestinian was shot after he attacked an officer with a knife, stabbing him twice, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the officer was moderately injured. The attacker was evacuated from the scene by the Red Crescent medical service.

Police are investigating reports that the Palestinian was wearing a suicide bomb vest or a fake explosive device, Rosenfeld said. He said police are also checking to see if the Palestinian was posing as a journalist to get close to the officer.

Hamas calls for new uprising

Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops across the West Bank and the Gaza border since Trump recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has called for a new armed uprising against Israel in response to Trump's declaration.

>> A disputed capital: Why the status of Jerusalem is so contentious

Protests in response to the announcement have taken place in various Arab and Muslim countries in the region. The announcement departed from decades of US policy that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through peace negotiations. East Jerusalem is home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites and the fate of the territory is an emotionally charged issue at the heart of the conflict. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day war, as the capital of their hoped-for state. Israel says the entire city, including East Jerusalem, remains its eternal capital.

Palestinians were infuriated by Trump's December 6 announcement because they saw it as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said Trump's move disqualified the US from continuing in its role as the traditional mediator of peace talks.

Trump said his decision merely recognises the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel's capital and is not meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)

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