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At least 16 Palestinians have been wounded in clashes in the occupied West Bank, during protests against US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Reports suggest the injuries are mostly from tear gas and rubber bullets, but at least one was hurt by live fire.
Israel has deployed hundreds of extra troops in the West Bank.
Trump’s announcement —met with worldwide dismay— reversed decades of US policy on the sensitive issue.
Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have gone on strike and taken to the streets in protest.
Many of Washington’s closest allies have said they disagree with the move, and both the United Nations Security Council and the Arab League will meet in the coming days to decide their response.
There are fears the announcement could lead to a renewed outbreak of violence. The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has already called for a new intifada, or uprising.
The US president said on Wednesday that he had “determined it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”.
“I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said.
He said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Despite warnings of regional unrest over any such move, the decision fulfils a campaign promise and appeals to Trump’s right-wing base.
Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he added. “It is also the right thing to do.”
Trump said the US would support a two-state solution – shorthand for a final settlement that would see the creation of an independent Palestinian state within pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, living peacefully alongside Israel – “if agreed to by both sides”.
The president also refrained from using Israel’s description of Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided capital”. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of any future Palestinian state. — BBC



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