At least two rioters have been killed during clashes with the Israeli army along the border of the Gaza strip on Friday. And of course, the media didn't hesitate to blame their deaths on President Trump...
Disturbances and demonstrations broke out in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip on Friday after Hamas, the terrorist organization that until recently exercised unilateral conrol over the Gaza Strip, called for Palestinians to rise up in a third Intifada against the Israelis while also declaring Friday a "Day of Rage following Trump's Wednesday decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ordered the State Department to begin preparations to move the US embassy there. While most of Israel's administrative services are based in West Jerusalem, most embassies and foreign diplomats are based in Tel Aviv.
While Trump's decision sparked outrage among leaders of the Muslim world and even drew a rebuke from the UN Security Council, the president pointed out in a late-night tweet that every former US president since at least Bill Clinton has promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.
I fulfilled my campaign promise - others didn’t! pic.twitter.com/bYdaOHmPVJ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2017
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported that two people were killed and dozens injured in the clashes. One of those killed was Mohammad al-Masri, 30, who was fatally shot by the Israeli army east of Khan Younis in the enclave. The Washington Post reported that at least 35 people were injured in Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that 245 people were injured in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The Israeli army said in a statement about the Gaza clashes that during “riots” by Palestinian protesters, “soldiers fired selectively towards two main instigators and hits were confirmed.”
Earlier, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said units stationed around the Old City of Jerusalem were "beefed up" with additional soldiers. However, he said there were no restrictions on Muslim worshipers entering to pray at the holy Haram al-Sharif compound, home of the renowned al-Aqsa Mosque.
Some scuffles broke out between demonstrators and border police near the Austrian hospice in Jerusalem’s Old City. In Gaza, tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated after the end of Friday prayers, and clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between the enclave and Israel.
Meanwhile, at the al-Alqsa Mosque compound, thousands of worshipers filed in for the midday Friday prayers without incident.
“We usually come on Fridays, but today has special meaning,” said Noor Shaheen, 24, as she left prayers. She said the fact that Israeli authorities had not put restrictions on who could come to prayers on Friday had eased tensions, adding that Palestinians in Jerusalem were weary of protests.
“We are tired,” she said. “It’s hard to make action without thinking of the reaction.”
Of course, not all Palestinians see Trump's decision as a declaration of war against the Muslim world..
According to WaPo, Ahmed Aduelhawa, 60, said Palestinians in Jerusalem did not want to give Israel “an excuse to humiliate us” and that Trump’s declaration “doesn’t matter.” He said: “The future of Jerusalem isn’t in Trump’s hands, not in Abbas’s hands, not in Netanyahu’s hands, it’s in God’s hands."
Clashes were later reported in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah.
On Friday, the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and shells.
The participants chanted slogans against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, calling for a revolt against Israel to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation."
The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet Friday after eight countries on the 15-member body requested a briefing on the U.S. decision, which the Palestinians claim breaches U.N. resolutions and international law.
Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the US Embassy in neighboring Jordan holding placards reading “Decision Rejected” and “No to US arrogance.” Criticism continued to flow in from governments in the Middle East, Europe and beyond, as U.S. friends and adversaries alike voiced disapproval and alarm.
Demonstrators also gathered outside the US embassy in Malaysia...
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan predicted that the region would ignite in a “ring of fire,” while European leaders reiterated their opposition to the policy, and 86-year-old Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu declared, “God is weeping."
The leaders of Saudi Arabia also warned of the fallout from Trump's decision.
US institutions in the region were also preparing for possible violent fallout. The State Department restricted travel for U.S. government employees in Jerusalem and the West Bank, warning U.S. citizens to avoid crowded areas. Of course, it's still early evening in Israel...
...Meaning there's still plenty of time for more casualty reports before the day is over.