Palestinians, Israelis clash as Jerusalem fallout continues
Fares Akram (Associated Press) - December 15, 2017 - 7:31pm

GAZA CITY — Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces on yesterday as fallout continues over President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week.

Following Muslim prayers, Palestinians set fire to tires and threw rocks at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas and live fire in the West Bank and along the Gaza border.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said 16 Palestinians were injured in clashes in two locations along Gaza's border with Israel. He said one was seriously wounded and in critical condition, while another 15 were in moderate condition.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Israeli police said a Palestinian was shot after he attacked an officer with a knife, stabbing him twice, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the officer was moderately injured. The attacker was evacuated from the scene by the Red Crescent medical service. His condition was unclear.

Police are investigating reports that the Palestinian was wearing a suicide bomb vest or a fake explosive device, Rosenfeld said.

He said police are also checking to see if the Palestinian was posing as a journalist in order to get close to the officer.

Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops across the West Bank and along the Gaza border since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week. The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has called for a new armed uprising against Israel in response to Trump's declaration.

The Trump announcement departed from decades of US policy that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations. Protests in response to the announcement have taken place in various Arab and Muslim countries in the region.

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. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan, 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 on Dec. 6 because they saw it as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said Trump's move disqualified the US 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.

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