For the second Friday in row, thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza and across the occupied West Bank turned out to protest more than a week after President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and days before his vice president visits the region.
Nearly 400 Palestinians were injured today across the Palestinian territories, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Four Palestinians have also been shot dead by Israeli forces, two in the West Bank and two in Gaza, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Today was the deadliest day since Trump's Dec. 6 announcement, and the funerals are expected to be held Saturday.
In Gaza, one of the two Palestinians killed was 29-year-old Ibrahim, a paraplegic who lost both legs during an Israeli airstrike in the 2008-2009 war with Israel, his family told ABC News.
— Nasser Atta (@nasseratta5) December 15, 2017
In the West Bank, a Palestinian wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt stabbed an Israeli Border Police officer today before being shot and seriously wounded, Israeli police said.
The officer sustained moderate injuries and the Israeli police have tweeted a picture of the knife. The stabbing occurred between the settlement of Beit El and the West Bank Palestinian city of Ramallah.
Border police officer stabbed moderately by Palestinian terrorist during riots near Ramallah. Terrorist shot. Officer in moderate condition. pic.twitter.com/80vmrodTRK— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) December 15, 2017
Throughout the Old City today, Palestinians clashed with Israeli border police in the narrow, walled streets.
In Jerusalem, after Friday prayers, worshippers chanted "Jerusalem will always be an Arab city," as they left al Haram al Sharif, or the Temple Mount, after praying at al Aqsa Mosque. There were no age restrictions for Friday prayers, Israeli Police Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld said.
Vice President Mike Pence was expected to be in the region early next week, but his visit has been delayed until Wednesday because of the U.S. Senate tax bill vote, according to his office. He will now fly to Egypt Tuesday to meet with President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, before landing in Tel Aviv Wednesday and visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem Wednesday evening.
In the West Bank on Friday, some 2,500 Palestinians took part in violent protests, the IDF said, thousands less than in the week before.
Following noon-time prayers, riots were reported in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Nablus. Demonstrators burned tires and threw petrol bombs and rocks at Israeli troops, who fired back at them with tear gas and rubber bullets.
In Jerusalem itself, around 30,000 people prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, according to the Islamic organization that administers the site.
This has been the largest incidence of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. According to Israeli assessments, these rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip.
His comments followed Wednesday’s summit of Muslim and Arab nations — the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation — which declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine and urged the world to recognize the state of Palestine.