Thousands of Palestinians protested in a “day of rage” on Friday in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the ancient city as Israel’s capital.
Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Friday, the Muslim holy day, expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and outrage at the U.S. move.
As Friday prayers ended at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, worshippers made their way toward the walled Old City gates, chanting “Jerusalem is ours, Jerusalem is our capital,” and “We don’t need empty words, we need stones and Kalashnikovs”. Some scuffles broke out between protesters and police.
Trump’s decision to reverse decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem has been met by days of protests, although violence so far has largely been contained.
By midday Friday there had been no reports of deaths in two days of demonstrations in the Palestinian territories. Thirty-one Palestinians were wounded on Thursday.
Clashes began in some spots of the West Bank after Friday prayers, though the unrest appeared less intense than the previous day. In Hebron and Bethlehem dozens of Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who fired back with tear gas.
Trump’s announcement on Wednesday has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies. The status of Jerusalem has been one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians for generations.
Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future independent state of their own. Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed, to be occupied territory, including the Old City, home to sites considered holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.