Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza protests

Day after UN vote, troops open fire on Palestinians protesting against US move to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    There has been no let-up in anger over Trump's Jerusalem move [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]
    There has been no let-up in anger over Trump's Jerusalem move [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

    At least two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed by Israeli forces during protests over US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

    The ministry said in a statement on Friday that two Palestinians were killed and more than 70 others injured during clashes with Israeli forces in northern Gaza near the border with Israel. 

    According to local news media, 24-year-old Zakariya al-Kafarneh was killed by live ammunition while taking part in the protests. 

    The name of the second Palestinian killed was unknown. 

    Maan News agency said Israeli troops used live bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against Palestinian protesters, who had gathered for the third Friday of Rage demonstration since Trump announced his decision in early December.

    At least 103 Palestinians have been taken to hospitals across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday for treatment for injuries from protests, the health ministry said in a statement. 

    Last week, the Israeli army killed Palestinian double amputee Ibrahim Abu Thurayyah while he was protesting in the besieged territory.

    At least eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during protests over Trump's Jerusalem decision began.

    At least four have also been killed by Israeli air raids in Gaza since early December. 

    UN vote

    Friday's protests come a day after the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution describing the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".

    The resolution was approved with 128 votes in favour and nine against, while 35 countries abstained. 

    The vote passed despite intimidation by Trump, who had threatened on Wednesday to eliminate financial aid to member states who voted against his decision, while Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, had warned that she would be "taking names" of those countries.

    The motion was co-authored by Turkey, which has taken a key role in the Muslim response to the move, and was supported by key US allies including, the UK and other Western states.

    Mevult Cavusoglu, foreign minister of Turkey, said on Twitter that the vote showed that "dignity and sovereignty are not for sale".

    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said the Palestinians "appreciate very much that the majority of the international community decided, in spite of the threats and intimidation of the US, to stand tall with wisdom, far-sightedness, international law and the rule of law - and not the rule of the jungle".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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