RAMALLAH, December 7, 2017 (WAFA) – Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Thursday to protest US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital, which came despite calls by international leaders urging him to refrain from the step.
Thousands marched in Jerusalem, Salfit, Jenin, Qalqilia, Jericho, Bethlehem, Gaza, Khan Younes and other areas denouncing the move, calling for boycotting the US for its bias in favor of Israel.
The protesters, who included students, representatives of political factions, religious leaders, civil society figures and scouts, waved Palestine flags and banners that sharply condemned the announcement and called for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.
Several of the protests developed into clashes with Israeli forces at multiple points of friction in the West Bank and at certain locations along the Gaza border fence with Israel. There were reports of suffocation cases in many of these locations as a result of Israeli soldiers’ heavy use of teargas.
Since early today, a general strike was observed in most of the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, in protest of the US’ move. Shops and businesses remain closed as students stayed home following a call for a strike in all schools as well.
This came in response to the US move, which was sharply criticized as hazardous to peace by many international leaders.
The international community in general does not recognize Israel’s hold on East Jerusalem, which is part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories it has occupied since June 1967.