IDF sends forces to West Bank as clashes escalate over Jerusalem

By Sara Shayanian
IDF sends forces to West Bank as clashes escalate over Jerusalem
Palestinians wave national flags during a protest Thursday against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Israel Defense Forces said they would send reinforcements to the West Bank as Hamas leaders called for an uprising over the United State's Jerusalem decision.

IDF said a "situational assessment by the IDF General Staff" helped the military make the decision to "reinforce the area of the West Bank" after clashes ensued on Wednesday.


Protests came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and added the U.S. Embassy in the country would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ahead of Trump's announcement, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot met with top military officers in the West Bank amid calls for violence in the region.

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"We demand, call and will launch an intifada in the face of the Zionist occupation," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech Thursday. "Jerusalem is being kidnapped and ripped from us."

Palestinians marched in several West Bank areas, throwing rocks and firebombs and burning American flags and pictures of U.S. leaders as part of a "day of rage."


In Gaza, at least two Palestinians were injured by Israeli fire.

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"We will not accept your patronage of the peace process anymore," Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said of Trump. "We will confront you with unity, and Palestine will return to its 1967 borders with holy Jerusalem as its capital."

Trump's decision to move the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital was criticized and by many.

"The announcement has the potential to send us backward to even darker times than the ones we are already living in," Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign-policy chief, said. "This move could diminish the potential role that the United States can play in the region and create more confusion around this."

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"President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people," Saeb Erekat, a chief Palestinian negotiator, said. "The two-state solution is over."

However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump was "simply carrying out the will of the American people."

"The reality is Israel's government offices, its courts are all in Jerusalem today, so it is just acknowledgment of what is reality on the ground," Tillerson said.


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