Thu | Jan 17, 2019

2 Palestinians killed in clashes over Jerusalem status

Published:Saturday | December 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A Palestinian protester tries to throw a gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, yesterday.


Two Palestinians were killed in renewed clashes with Israeli forces, Gaza's health ministry said yesterday, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts amid continued fallout over President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The fresh violence came a day after the UN General Assembly resolution denouncing President Donald Trump's decision.

Abbas, on a visit to Paris, urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts, insisting he will no longer accept any US plans for Mideast peace because of Trump's position on Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the administration siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said that a 24-year-old and a 29-year-old were killed by live fire in clashes along the border with Israel. Another 45 Palestinians were wounded, he said.

The Israeli military said that thousands of Palestinians participated in "violent riots" along the Gaza border and across the West Bank, "hurling firebombs and rocks and rolling burning tires" at Israeli forces. It said that troops responded with tear gas and deployed live fire "selectively toward main instigators."

Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops since Trump's Jerusalem announcement on December 6. Ten Palestinians have been killed, and dozens more wounded so far.

In Bethlehem yesterday, some Palestinian protesters held anti-Trump banners reading "Mr Trump, it's not your land to decide to whom it belongs, Jerusalem is ours and it belongs to us," and "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine."

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to denounce Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, largely ignoring Trump's threats to cut off aid to any country that went against him.