RAMALLAH: Israeli troops shot and wounded more than 40 Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital entered a second week.
Near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank, Israeli police troopers said they shot a man after he stabbed and hurt one of their unit. Reuters photographers who saw the wounded Palestinian fall said he was holding a small knife and wore what looked like a bomb belt.
Medical officials said three more Palestinians were shot and wounded in the West Bank. A further 38 were wounded on the border of the Gaza Strip, whose dominant Hamas Islamists have called for a revolt against Israel in protest against Trump’s Dec. 6 decision.
The Israeli military said that about 2,500 Palestinian took part in riots in the West Bank, rolling flaming tires and throwing firebombs and rocks at soldiers and border police. Troops took action to break up the riots, it said in a statement.
Similar scenes occurred along the border with Gaza Strip, where about 3,500 Palestinians demonstrated.
“During the violent riots IDF soldiers fired selectively toward main instigators,” the military said.
Gaza has also seen almost nightly rocket launches into Israel by Palestinian militants, which have not caused casualties. An Israeli counter-strike on Gaza killed two Hamas gunmen.
Trump’s announcement, reversing decades of US policy which treated Jerusalem’s status as a matter for Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, stirred anger across the Arab and Muslim world and concern among Washington’s European allies.
Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Arab forces in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationaly. Palestinians hope that part of the city will be the capital of a future independent state and Palestinian leaders say Trump’s move is a serious blow to an already moribund peace process.
US Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Israel, as well as Egypt, next week.
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