Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank on Friday, after calls for a “Day of Rage” in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Fighting broke out in Jerusalem’s Old City and across the West Bank, as thousands of Palestinian protesters took to the streets in the cities of the cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus. Clashes also occurred along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
After some Palestinian protesters began throwing stones and molotov cocktails, Israeli forces dispersed rioters with tear gas and rubber bullets, reports Agence France Presse. At least 50 Palestinians have been injured in the clashes, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The demonstrations come amid high tensions in Israel and neighboring Arab countries over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move, which marked a change from longtime U.S. policy, was widely supported in Israel and American lawmakers, but drew condemnation from Arab leaders and many Western allies.
Israel has always considered Jerusalem its undivided capital, and the city has been the seat of Israeli government since the Jewish state was founded in 1948. However, Palestinians consider East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital makes the U.S the only other country in the world to do so. While Trump says the move will not alter U.S. support for a two-state solution, critics claim it will derail the peace process and undermine U.S. claims to be an honest broker of peace talks.
The controversial policy change has provoked angry responses throughout the Middle East and beyond, reports the BBC.
On Friday, Pro-Palestinian protesters held demonstrations in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. Similar protests erupted in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
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