Clashes broke out across the West Bank and along Gaza’s border on Friday, killing at least four Palestinians and wounding dozens of protesters and an Israeli officer, as the fallout continued over President Trump’s announcement last week recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Protests in response to Trump’s announcement, which departed from decades of U.S. policy that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations, have yet to relent across various Arab and Muslim countries in the region.
Following Friday prayers, Palestinians in the West Bank and along the Gaza border set fire to tires and threw rocks at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas and live fire.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Kidra said two Palestinians were killed from gunshots to the head. He identified one of the men as Ibrahim Abu Thraya, 29, a disabled man who had both legs amputated. He had taken part in several border skirmishes recently; images on social media show him carrying a Palestinian flag.
An additional 82 Palestinians were injured in clashes in several locations along Gaza’s border with Israel, at least five of whom were seriously wounded, he said.
Another Palestinian died later from wounds sustained in clashes near Jerusalem, the health ministry said.
The Israel military said thousands of “Palestinian rioters” rolled burning tires and hurled firebombs and rocks at security forces, who responded with riot dispersal munitions and also “fired selectively toward main instigators.”
Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops across the West Bank and along the Gaza border. The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has called for a new armed uprising against Israel in response to Trump’s declaration.
East Jerusalem is home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites and the fate of the territory is an emotionally charged issue at the heart of the conflict. Palestinians seek east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as the capital of their hoped-for state. Israel says the entire city, including east Jerusalem, is its eternal capital.
Palestinians were infuriated by Trump’s announcement because they saw it as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said Trump’s move disqualified the U.S. from continuing in its role as the traditional mediator of peace talks.
Trump said his decision merely recognizes the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and is not meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.
Near the West Bank city of Ramallah, one Palestinian was shot and killed on Friday after he attacked an officer with a knife, stabbing him twice and wounding him moderately, said Israeli police. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police are investigating reports that the attacker was wearing a suicide bomb vest or a fake explosive device. He added that they were also checking to see if he was posing as a journalist to get close to the officer.