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Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces clash after Friday prayers in Bethlehem.

Israeli airstrikes target Gaza amid tensions after Trump’s Jerusalem move

WT24 Desk

Two Palestinians were killed Saturday in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, as tensions soared in the region after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, CNN reports.

The Israel Defense Forces said Israeli aircraft had targeted what it identified as four facilities belonging to Hamas — the Palestinian Islamist group that controls Gaza — early Saturday in response to rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza.
The aircraft targeted two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound, according to an IDF news release.
The bodies of two Palestinian men aged 28 and 30 were found under rubble after the strikes, WAFA said, quoting the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
A 54-year-old Palestinian man also died late Friday from injuries sustained during an earlier Israeli airstrike in Gaza. The IDF said Israeli aircraft had struck a Hamas training compound and ammunition warehouse in Gaza.
A 30-year-old Palestinian man was shot and killed earlier Friday during clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces over Trump’s controversial move. Both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital.
More than 300 people were injured Friday across the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, 50 of whom needed hospital treatment, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health said.
An Israeli army statement said what it called violent riots had broken out in about 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza. The main disturbances in the West Bank were in Hebron, Al-Arroub, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Qalqilya and Nablus.
At least 49 people were also injured Thursday during protests over Trump’s decision, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.
Trump’s decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and commit to moving the US Embassy to the holy city has prompted international condemnation and sparked protests in countries around the globe, from Indonesia and Malaysia to Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.

US envoy to UN defends Trump move

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended Trump’s decision and criticized member countries for their treatment of Israel during an emergency UN Security Council meeting Friday.
She also said the US has credibility with both the Israelis and the Palestinians and that any peace agreement would likely be “signed on the White House lawn.”
“The United States is not predetermining final status issues,” Haley said.
“We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties.”
Several countries voiced their opposition to the US decision before Haley’s comments, including France and Egypt.

Tillerson: Embassy move not imminent

Speaking Friday in Paris, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “is not something that will happen this year, probably not next year.”
He also said that Trump’s decision did not “indicate any final status for Jerusalem,” adding that the “final status would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cast doubt on whether he will receive US Vice President Mike Pence during a planned visit to the region later this month.
Speaking to broadcaster Al Jazeera, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said: “Jerusalem is more important than Mike Pence — we will not abandon Jerusalem just to receive Mike Pence.”

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