| 12.12,17. 11:02 AM |
Dozens of Palestinians hurt in clashes with Israel army
Dozens of Palestinians were injured Monday in confrontations with Israeli army troops amid ongoing protests against last week’s decision by the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
At least 25 Palestinians were injured in clashes that erupted across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) said in a brief statement.
Confrontations of varying intensity were reported in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Hebron (Al-Khalil) and in the town of Sair.
The PRC said it had treated at least two Palestinians hurt by live fire, another five injured by rubber bullets, and 15 more who had suffered temporary asphyxia after inhaling excessive amounts of teargas.
According to Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, another two Palestinians were injured in confrontations on or near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel.
Palestinian demonstrations have remained underway in the occupied territories for the last four consecutive days to protest Washington's policy shift on Jerusalem.
On Monday, Palestinian faction Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian government, organized a rally outside the U.S. representation office in Ramallah.
During the event, senior Fatah member Muwafaq Sahwil called on all U.S. nationals to leave the city --which serves as the Palestinian Authority's municipal capital-- saying they were "not welcome".
Addressing U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, Sahwil said: "Mr. Pence, you're not welcome in the state of Palestine."
The U.S. administration, he went on to say, "has declared war on the Palestinian people and cause by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital".
Despite widespread regional and international opposition, U.S. President Donald Trump last Wednesday announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city.
The dramatic shift in longstanding U.S. policy sparked demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim countries.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
During his electoral campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and acknowledge Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
In April, Moscow announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, expressing hope that the city's eastern half might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestine.
Notably, in last week's announcement, Trump stressed that his administration had yet to take a position regarding "the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem".