Scores were injured as thousands of Palestinians clashed with the IDF, which used live ammo, tear gas and rubber bullets on demonstrators throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails in the latest Day of Rage anti-Trump protest.
At least 40 people were injured, four seriously, by gunfire in the Gaza Strip in scuffles between protesters and the Israeli Army, which used live ammunition to break up the protest, according to the Palestinian health officials.
The Israeli military said that it retaliated after around 2,000 protesters amassed in the buffer zone at nine locations along the Israeli border and started throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the officers, allegedly shouting “death to America, death to Israel, and death to Trump.”
An IDF spokeswoman defended the conduct of the troops, arguing that they were targeting only “the main instigators” attempting to break though the border security fences and posing a “direct threat.”
Another 16 Palestinian protesters were injured in the West Bank, where the Israeli forces showered them with rubber and live bullets as well as tear gas. According to the IDF, around 500 demonstrators pelted the Israeli troops with stones and Molotov cocktails.
A total of around 4,000 protesters hit the streets in occupied Gaza and the West Bank on Friday, according to the Israeli military.
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RT’s Paula Slier, reporting from the Israeli settlement of Beit El, described the situation as “quite tense,” noting that she could smell the tear gas deployed against the protesters from a long distance.
Reporting for RT, Gaza journalist Hind Khoudary also witnessed how the situation escalated through the day, with canisters of tear gas being thrown, and live ammo and rubber bullets fired at the protesters. She said at least five ambulances arrived to pick up the injured.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital has sparked outrage across the occupied territories, with Palestinians pouring into the streets every Friday to voice their indignation over the move, which has been condemned by the Muslim world and overwhelmingly rejected by the United Nations General Assembly. The protests, which regularly spiral into violence, have so far claimed 14 Palestinian lives and around 3,000 have been injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.