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Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel capital sparks West Bank clashes

Thursday - 07/12/2017 10:44
UN security council to meet to discuss US decision amid widespread international condemnation and violence in occupied territories
A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops in Beit El, near Ramallah. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters
A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops in Beit El, near Ramallah. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops have taken place in cities across the occupied West Bank as anger over Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital spilled on to the streets.

The most violent confrontations occurred in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, where Israeli security forces fired teargas and plastic-coated rounds as hundreds of protesters threw stones and set alight barricades.

In the Gaza Strip, dozens of protesters gathered near the border fence with Israel and threw rocks at soldiers on the other side. Two protesters were wounded by live fire, with one reported to be in a critical condition.

A fresh round of violent protests are expected on Friday at mass demonstrations called to follow Friday prayers.

A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops in Beit El, near Ramallah. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

The confrontations took place as a meeting of the UN security council was called for Friday to discuss Trump’s decision, condemnation of which continues to mount across the Middle East and internationally.

Eight countries on the 15-member council requested the meeting, including the UK, Italy and France, amid claims from Palestine and Turkey that recognition by the US president is in breach of both international law and UN resolutions.

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc had a united position that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state. France said it rejected the “unilateral” US decision while the UK prime minister, Theresa May, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, both described Trump’s announcement as “unhelpful”.

The Russian foreign ministry said US recognition risked “dangerous and uncontrollable consequences”.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, hailed US recognition of Jerusalem as “historic” and claimed other countries were in contact about following Trump’s lead, but was alone among regional leaders in praising the move.

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Source: The Guardian:

 Key: Israel, Jerusalem

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