2 dead, 250 injured as Israeli troops, Palestinians clash over Trump move

By Sara Shayanian and Sam Howard  |  Updated Dec. 8, 2017 at 4:45 PM
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Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Israeli troops killed at least two Palestinian protester as clashes escalated over U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reported Mohammad al-Masri, 30, was shot by Israeli Defense Forces east of Khan Younis. Another man in his fifties was killed in the northern part of Gaza, Haaretz reported.

An estimated 3,000 Palestinian protesters held demonstrations and clashed with IDF at nearly 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- leaving nearly 250 Palestinians injured.

Palestinian protesters threw rocks at IDF soldiers in Bethlehem after Friday prayers near the Jacir Palace Hotel, officials said. Israeli forces responded by firing tear gas.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 40 people in Kusra struggled with tear gas inhalation.

In Israel, a rocket launched from Gaza hit the small town of Sderot on Friday night, Haaretz reported. It wasn't immediately clear if the attack inflicted any casualties on the town.

Protests also ensued across the Muslim world, as demonstrations were planned in Iraq, Egypt and Turkey.

Iranian prayer leader Ayatollah Khatami called for mass protests over Trump's move, which some analysts say now makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult.

"He proved that the cure for the issue of Palestine is only, only, an intifada," Khatami said. "Only intifadas can turn day into a dark night for the Zionist regime."

At the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, hundreds of protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted "Allahu Akbar" or "God is greatest." In Malaysia, protesters burned Trump in effigy.

The worldwide protests were sparked by Trump's announcement Wednesday that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the latter as the capital of Israel. Previous U.S. presidents have refused to take that step -- believing Jerusalem's status should be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the move may prevent the United States from mediating future Palestinian-Israeli peace talks -- something it's done for decades.

"Until now, it could have had a mediation role in this conflict, but it has excluded itself a little," Le Drian said.

"The reality is they are alone and isolated on this issue."

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