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Palestinians demonstrate against Trump plan before Abbas UN speech

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated on Tuesday against the US peace plan, hours before president Mahmud Abbas was due to address the United Nations.

An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Palestinians gathered in central Ramallah, home of the Palestinian government, for a demonstration led by prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, AFP correspondents said.

A few hundred demonstrators later protested near an Israeli military checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, where clashes broke out between stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas.

Twelve Palestinians were injured, including two shot by rubber bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Abbas was due to address the United Nations Security Council in New York later Tuesday where he was expected to reiterate his opposition Trump's proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace, released on January 28 to universal Palestinian opposition.

The protest had been called by Abbas's political party Fatah and was the largest pro-Abbas demonstration in Ramallah in several years.

Demonstrators condemned the US peace plan, chanting "This deal will not pass."

The protesters, who came from a number of cities, held signs including those reading "Palestine is not for sale."

The Trump plan proposes granting Israel several of its key long-held wishes, including full sovereignty over the disputed city of Jerusalem and the right to annex all settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In exchange the Palestinians would be granted a demilitarised state in the remaining parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

It was immediately rejected by Palestinians from across the political spectrum, who saw it as biased towards Israel.

In the Gaza Strip, another part of the Palestinian territories, around 2,000 people demonstrated in Gaza City in support of Abbas.

Shtayyeh addressed protesters in Ramallah, saying the demonstrations were "the message from the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza that we are united behind president Mahmud Abbas."

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