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Jerusalem Crisis

Clashes during protests over U.S. Jerusalem recognition



Clashes occurred on Friday between Israeli security forces and Palestinians protesting the United Statesrecognition of the entire city of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Palestinians rally over Jerusalem

Read all Post coverage on the Jerusalem Crisis

A Palestinian was fatally shot by Israeli security near the border of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian officials. A second death was reported later on.

Some 300 Palestinians have been injured during the rallies , according to Red Crescent.

Protests have launched in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, Istanbul and other major cities in the Middle East against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition, a city claimed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli police started dispersing the protests in Jerusalem by early afternoon local time.

Those rallying in the Jordanian capital of Amman are calling for their government to cut ties with Israel.

It is the second full day of protesting in Arab cities across the Middle East, with some 100 injured by police tear gas and rubber bullets.

Protesters threw stones at Israeli troops in several cities, and the Israeli Defense Force  responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Rallies have gone beyond the Middle East, however, with protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

Crowds have also taken to the streets in the United States, in Europe and reportedly in some African countries.

Canada has not been subject to a mass demonstration at this point. Ottawa has typically stood as a staunch supporter of Israel, and there was even a time when a previous prime minister wanted to do the same action as Trump.

Trump himself is not the first president in the U.S. to promise the recognition and moving of the embassy, but is the first to follow through.

The Wednesday recognition came when he did not renew a waiver to hold off a 1995 law to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a waiver that was renewed by every president since on a six-month basis.

Watch live via RT

Watch a live stream of protests from RT news agency.


Image of Jerusalem from previous files.

Jerusalem’s significance

Jerusalem’s many holy sites are significant to the major religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity with the city being claimed by both the Jew-majority Israel and the Islam-majority Palestinian territories.

However, Israeli sovereignty over the entire city has never been recognized internationally until the U.S. and Czech Republic on Wednesday changed the status quo.

Israel said Thursday that they were in talks with other countries that may want to follow their lead in recognizing Jerusalem.

Trump declared on Dec. 6 that his country recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and that a new U.S. Embassy would be built there, instead of the standard of Tel Aviv, where all other global envoy delegations are located.

The Trump announcement was criticized leading up to Wednesday and was nearly globally condemned after he gave the speech from the White House, with Vice President Mike Pence in the background.

Both the United Nations Security Council and the Arab League are meeting with their respective members to decide a response.

However, other international organizations such as the European Union have already had their say.

The E.U. Commission expressed “serious concern” over the change of U.S. policy and a key Israeli ally, the Netherlands, sharply criticized Trump’s actions as “unwise and counterproductive”.

In Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Authority is led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

However, two rival,s until recently, have fought for control of Palestinian territories: the Hamas and Fatah. The former has ruled the Gaza Strip with the Fatah taking control of the West Bank.

Hamas considers the U.S. action a “war declaration”

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

The Sunni Islamic Hamas militant organization was labelled a terror group in July of this year by the European Court of Justice, but has long been given that status by many in the international community.

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniya made clear that the Trump recognition on Dec. 6 was a “war declaration against Palestinians”, and called for a new “Intifada”, translated as an uprising.

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

“The U.S. decision is an aggression, a declaration of war on us, on the best Muslim and Christian shrines in the heart of Palestine, Jerusalem.”

Palestine has always considered the entirety of Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, something Haniya reiterated in a speech on Thursday.

Fatah, a rival of President Abbas, has decided to take a more diplomatic direction by protesting through diplomatic means by submitting a complaint to the U.N. Security Council and by lobbying the Arab League for a strong response.

“We are going to declare the United States disqualified as co-sponsor of any peace process or political process, said Fatah spokesman Dr. Nassar Al-Kidwa.

Besides the Czech Republic, European leaders have joined many African and Asian leaders in condemning Trump’s recognition.

French President Emmanuel Macron went as far as saying the move contravened international law and Security Council resolutions.

More details to follow. Image 1 of protestors at the northern entrance of Bethlehem from Free Palestine on Twitter. 

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