Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters continue for fourth day; dozens injured

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Dec 2017

A protester carries a Palestinian flag and runs for cover during clashes with Israeli troops following protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 AP

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police and soldiers on Sunday as violence continued for the fourth day in response to the US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A young Palestinian man was seriously injured by Israeli fire with while dozens of others, including school students, suffered injuries sustained from teargas inhalation during clashes that erupted in al-Arroub refugee camp, near Hebron, and in Bethlehem, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Thousands of Palestinians have demonstrated against the decision in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Clashes erupted in the aftermath of a rally in al-Arroub refugee camp. The soldiers fired rubber-coated steel rounds at the protesters, seriously injuring a young man in his head. They also used teargas canisters to disperse the protesters, causing multiple cases of injury by teargas inhalation," WAFA added.

The Palestinian news agency said that similar clashes also erupted in Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem. "There were reports of teargas inhalation cases among the protesters as a result of Israeli forces’ heavy use of teargas to disperse them," the report read, also adding that two minors had been detained.

Palestinian security sources told WAFA that a vehicle ran over five-year-old Razan Jaber in Hebron, south of the West Bank, injuring her foot. She was transferred to the Hebron government hospital to receive treatment.

On the Israeli side, a security guard at Jerusalem's main bus station was stabbed by a Palestinian young man in the first reported Palestinian attack since the dramatic announcement, Israeli police said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has announced on Sunday that four Palestinian civilians had been killed with more than 1,250 injured -- 150 of those with live ammunition -- since clashes erupted on Wednesday with Israeli troops.

Trump's decision has drawn a wave of condemnation from the Arab and Muslim world and from Western countries as well.

Several demonstrations in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, have also erupted, with protestors rejecting the move.

There were also demonstrations against Trump's decision in other Muslim-majority countries such as Turkey and Indonesia, as well as in Western capitals.
Trump's decision ends a 37-year-old US foreign policy position to not recognise –- along with the international community –- Israel's 1980 decision to annex occupied East Jerusalem and to refuse to designate a "unified Jerusalem" as an eternal capital for Israel.

The US president's decision comes as a fulfilment of a promise he made in 2016 while a candidate on the presidential campaign trail.

There are an estimated 325,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem under increasing occupation pressures.

In the past several years, Israel has been accelerating the pace of building illegal Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to consolidate its hold over the occupied territories. Israeli settlers have also repeatedly stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine, to lay claim on its grounds.

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