4 Palestinians killed, Israeli officer stabbed in protests

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Dec. 15, 2017 at 2:48 PM
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Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians protesting U.S. President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital left four people dead and an officer injured Friday.

Israeli police said officers shot and killed a man they said was wearing what appeared to be an explosives belt. The man allegedly stabbed and moderately injured a Border Police officer.

"A terrorist approached Border Police officers who were responding to a riot at the Judea and Samaria Square in Ramallah, and stabbed one of them," police said in a statement to The Times of Israel.

Police said the explosives did not detonate and they were investigating whether it was real or fake.

"I praise the work of the Border Police force that took out the terrorist," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted. "Thank you to our forces who protect us around the clock. Everybody salutes you."

The Palestinian health ministry said four Palestinians died in the clashes -- two in Gaza, one in Anata and another in Al-Bireh. Another 164 people sustained injuries, five critically, during protests in the Gaza Strip; 103 were injured in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

It was the second Friday of protests since Trump announced the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. Critics said Trump's announcement would make lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians more difficult.

"Trump is stupid to play around with something like Jerusalem which is a religious as well as a political issue," one protester told Middle East Eye.

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