Trump’s Jerusalem stance sparks violence on streets
Calls for new intifada as Palestinians clash with Israeli troops
Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops have erupted across the West Bank while demonstrators in Gaza burned Israeli and US flags after Donald Trump moved to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The leader of the Hamas militant group, which runs Gaza, called for a new armed uprising in a widespread show of anger over the US president’s move.
In the West Bank, crowds of protesters set tyres on fire and threw stones at anti-riot troops.
In the biblical town of Bethlehem, troops fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd in clashes that could cloud the upcoming Christmas celebrations in the town of Jesus’s birth.
In Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government, protesters set tyres on fire, sending a thick plume of black smoke over the city.
Mr Trump’s dramatic break on Wednesday with decades of US policy on Jerusalem counters long- FIRED UP: Palestinians burn posters of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US president Donald Trump during protests yesterday
standing international assurances to the Palestinians that the fate of the city will be determined in negotiations.
The Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as a future capital.
Palestinians closed their schools and shops yesterday
to begin three “days of rage” over Mr Trump’s decision. Rallies were under way in other West Bank cities, and a demonstration was being held outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.
There were no serious casualties reported in yesterday’s clashes. But today,
the Muslim holy day, could provide an important test when Palestinians gather for weekly mass prayers.
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to launch a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel.
“The American decision is an aggression on
our people and a war on our sanctuaries,” Haniyeh said in a speech. “We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision,” he said.
The Israeli military said it would deploy several battalions to the West Bank, while other troops
have been put on alert to address “possible developments”.
The conflicting claims to Jerusalem, and especially its Old City, where sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites are located, lie at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.