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Clashes in Bethlehem over Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Israeli troops fire teargas towards Palestinians during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.(AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Violence erupted in Israel as Palestinians reacted to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, but the U.S. insists that peace is still a possibility.

According to Reuters, Israeli security forces used live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse off demonstrators during clashes in Bethlehem on Friday leaving at least two Palestinians killed, and more than 300 people wounded.

As Friday prayers ended at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Reuters reported worshippers made their way toward the walled Old City gates, chanting “Jerusalem is ours, Jerusalem is our capital” and “We don’t need empty words, we need stones and Kalashnikovs”.

In Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, dozens of Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who fired back with tear gas, the source revealed.

At a conference in Austria Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told local press the U.S. believes in the possibility of a peace agreement.

“Very committed to a peace process still, that’s what I know the whole world wants and we still believe there is an opportunity for peace,” Tillerson said, according to CBS (New York) News.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier called the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital a momentous occasion in Israeli history.

“Jerusalem, the capital of the jewish state of israel. If you weren’t aware of that until yesterday, you are now. But we have been aware of it for 3,000 years,” he said, according to CBS (New York) News.

Jerusalem is Israel’s holiest city but also home to one of Islam’s holiest sites and the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their own capital.

 

By Paul W. Dennis

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