Hundreds of Palestinians take part in anti-Trump protests

GAZA: Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza and the occupied West Bank for the fourth Friday in a row, in protests against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israeli tanks and aircraft struck Gaza in response to cross-border rockets fired by militants, the military said, targeting posts that belonged to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Palestinian enclave.

The military said it intercepted two of the three rockets fired into Israel. Police said the third struck a building causing damage. No casualties were reported in those incidents.

Trump outraged Palestinians and sparked anger in Middle East countries and world powers with his Jerusalem declaration on Dec. 6, which reversed decades of US policy on one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the West Bank and along the Gaza-Israel border, hundreds of Palestinians, some throwing rocks and setting tires alight, confronted Israeli soldiers and in Gaza about 1,500 people attended a rally protesting Trump’s Jerusalem move.

Palestinian health officials said at least five protesters were wounded by soldiers’ live fire. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report.

The demonstrations, however, appeared less intense in scale than previous Friday rallies called over Trump’s announcement.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.

Most countries regard the status of Jerusalem as a matter to be settled in an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, although that process is now stalled.

A UN General Assembly resolution passed on December 21 rejected Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. A total of 128 countries voted for the UN resolution. Nine opposed it and 35 abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.