Hamas calls for new uprising
31 hurt in Israeli army gunfire as Palestinian protests erupt in Gaza and West Bank
- Published 8.12.17
Jerusalem: The extremist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian factions called for a "Day of Rage" on Friday, and on Thursday a wave of protest in the West Bank and Gaza brought clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops. At least 31 people were wounded by Israeli gunfire and rubber bullets, medics said.
The Israeli military said on Thursday evening two rockets had been fired towards Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, but did not cross into Israeli territory.
The military said it was reinforcing troops in the occupied West Bank.
Medics said 11 people had been hit by live bullets and 20 by rubber bullets in Thursday's unrest. One was in a critical condition. Some protesters threw rocks at soldiers and others chanted:"Death to America! Death to the fool Trump!"
Trump reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, angering the Arab world and upsetting western allies.
The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - is one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada (Palestinian uprising) in the face of the Zionist enemy," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in Gaza.
On Friday's "Day of Rage", rallies and protests are expected near Israeli-controlled checkpoints in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza. Friday prayers at the Muslim shrine of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem could also be a flashpoint.
Naser Al-Qidwa, an aide to western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior official in his Fatah party, urged Palestinians to stage protests but said they should be peaceful.
Abbas on Thursday met Jordan's King Abdullah, whose dynasty is traditional custodian of Jerusalem's holy places. Jordan is a staunch US ally but has dismissed Trump's move as "legally null".
Palestinian news agency Wafa said Abbas updated the king on "the imminent dangers in light of the decision by President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation state, and the mechanism of future steps to protect the holy city".
Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of an independent state of their own to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 West Asia war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.
Israel and the US consider Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2007, a terrorist organisation. Hamas does not recognise Israel's right to exist. Fearing disruption to reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah and other Fatah delegates arrived in Gaza on Thursday to meet Hamas. Reuters