Hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank on Thursday while demonstrators in Gaza burned posters of President Donald Trump over his widely denounced decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Palestinians shuttered their schools and shops on Thursday to begin three "days of rage" over Trump's decision. Rallies were underway in other West Bank cities, and a demonstration was being held outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City.
It’s been a day of clashes across the occupied West Bank as Palestinians and Israeli soldiers faced off on the streets. Protesters chanted: "Jerusalem [al-Quds] is Arab, Jerusalem is Palestinian," "Trump, you will see - Palestine will be free" and "In blood and spirit, we will liberate Jerusalem."
Tear gas, as well as live and rubber bullets, have been deployed, leaving dozens injured. In Bethlehem, troops fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd, resulting in at least 41 injuries. Palestinian officials said dozens of protesters were lightly wounded, most from tear gas inhalation.
Protests were also held in Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Jericho in the West Bank, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency, as well as in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Trump’s decision as an unacceptable crime before praising the nations which have denounced the move.
In the Gaza Strip, armed group Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to launch a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel on Friday. "The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries," Haniyeh said in a speech. "We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision," he said.
The Israeli military said it would deploy several battalions to the West Bank ahead of Friday.
Lebanese Hezbollah has backed calls by Hamas to launch a new uprising against Israel, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, said in a televised address.
"The most important response would be a Palestinian uprising and an Islamic summit that would declare Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Palestine," Nasrallah said, as quoted by Lebanon’s Naharnet TV. "We support the call for a new Palestinian intifada [uprising] and escalating the resistance which is the biggest, most important and gravest response to the American decision," he added.
Nasrallah also called for unity and support for the resistance among Muslims in the face of Wednesday’s announcement by President Donald Trump.