At least 46 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces who again deployed tear gas and live ammunition at the weekly “Day of Rage” protests against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Around 2,000 Palestinians, enraged by US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, swarmed the streets of the West Bank and Gaza for the sixth consecutive Friday, burning tires and hurling projectiles at the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in 20 locations across the occupied Palestinian territories.
In Bethlehem on the West Bank the Israeli soldiers responded to the unrest by firing tear gas, Ruptly’s video shows. At least five people in the West Bank suffered injuries when the IDF used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, Haaretz reports, citing Palestinian health officials.
The most intense clashes erupted in Gaza where Israeli forces fired live ammunition to deter protesters from trespassing on Israeli territory. At least 41 people suffered light and moderate injuries as a result. More than a hundred Palestinians were treated for smoke and gas inhalation after the Israeli soldiers deployed tear gas and smoke grenades.
The IDF subsequently claimed the live fire was not indiscriminate, insisting the Israeli military only targeted “three main inciters, who posed a threat to soldiers and border facilities.”
Tensions were already high ahead of Friday’s protests after two 16-year-old Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF on Thursday. Ali Amr Nimr Qeeno was shot dead by the Israeli troops in the village of Burin near the city Nablus as they were sweeping the area for suspects in the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, killed last week in the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad.
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The Israeli forces justified the killing by accusing Qeeno of being the main instigator of attacks that saw Palestinian youths hurling rocks at the soldiers.
Another 16-year-old, Amir Abd Abu Musaid, was killed in a border area in Gaza when Israeli troops opened fire on stone-throwing protesters.
At least 17 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured in the wave of protests that have gripped the West Bank and Gaza following Trump’s decision, with hundreds of Palestinians voicing their indignation with the move every week after Friday prayers. The decision has also sparked outrage across the Muslim world and drawn the condemnation of the United Nations General Assembly.