Jerusalem/Gaza: Israeli security personnel were bracing for riots in Jerusalem and the West Bank after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new intifada (uprising) in the Palestinian territories to free Jerusalem and the West Bank and to mark Friday as a “Day of outrage”.
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are expected to stage protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital near Israeli-controlled checkpoints in the West Bank and along the Gaza border after Friday prayers.
Naser al-Qidwa, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior official in his Fatah party, has urged Palestinians to stage peaceful protests.
But violence already erupted on Thursday after Palestinians fired rockets at Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and went on the rampage burning tyres and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails in Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah to vent their fury against Trump’s decision.
A Salafi group in Gaza called the Al-Tawheed Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket launches. An Israeli aircraft and tank targeted two posts belonging to the militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after the rocket attack.
Nearly 50 protesters were wounded and at least 20 were arrested in riots across the West Bank.
Hundreds of east Jerusalem residents protested at the Damascus Gate plaza chanting “Jerusalem is Arab and Palestinian,” and, “Trump, you will see – Palestine will be free”.