One Palestinian killed, scores injured as protests rage


International desk, December 08: At least one Palestinian has been killed and hundreds injured as “Day of Rage” protests continue across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip over the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.One man was killed during protests in Gaza on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

The Red Crescent said on Friday that so far, they have attended to at least 217 injuries in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, while in the Gaza Strip more than 20 people were treated for tear gas inhalation and rubber bullet wounds.

According to Palestinian news agency, WAFA, about 50 those injuries had to be treated at a hospital.

On Friday, protests began after noon prayers in and around the Old City of Jerusalem.

Speaking in front of Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said the protests have been mostly peaceful.

“Occupied East Jerusalem has been relatively peaceful in the past two days since this announcement from Trump,” he said.

“Emotions are very high here and it doesn’t take much to kick things off,” he added.

“The protests have largely been noisy and loud and occasionally Palestinian flags and banners [would be] unfurled at which Israeli security forces would move in and separate out some of those who they wanted to target.”

Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators in the occupied West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem, with at least one case of live ammunition being reported, Palestinian medical services said.

In the Gaza Strip, protesters made their way to the buffer zone, where Israeli soldiers also responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Friday marked the third day of protests across the occupied territories.

Palestinian universities, schools, and educational institutions had also declared a strike after a directive from the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

‘Dangerous escalation’

Trump, ignoring warnings from the international community, announced on Wednesday that the US was formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy.

The decision has been condemned by world leaders who have described it as a “dangerous escalation” and a final nail in the coffin of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel says the city, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided.

Trump’s “announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in”, said Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs.

Speaking on Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the relocation of the US embassy would probably not take place for at least two years.

“This is not something that is going to happen this year or probably not next year, but the president does want us to move in a very concrete, very steadfast way,” Tillerson said after talks in Paris with his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian.

In a speech in Gaza City on Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has said the US decision is a “war declaration against Palestinians”, and called for a new Intifada, or uprising.

Haniya said US President Donald Trump’s recognition “killed” the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“This decision has killed the peace process, has killed the Oslo [accord], has killed the settlement process,” he said.

“The US decision is an aggression, a declaration of war on us, on the best Muslim and Christian shrines in the heart of Palestine, Jerusalem. We should work on launching an Intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” Haniya said.

Source: Al Jazeera