Hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank on Thursday while demonstrators in Gaza burned posters of President Donald Trump over his widely denounced decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The leader of the Hamas militant group, which runs Gaza, called for a new armed uprising in a widespread show of anger, as the demonstrators torched American and Israeli flags.
In the West Bank, crowds of protesters set tires on fire and hurled stones at Israeli troops. In Bethlehem, troops fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd, in clashes that could cloud the upcoming Christmas celebrations in the town of Jesus’ birth. In Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government, protesters set tires on fire, sending a thick plume of black smoke over the city.
Trump’s dramatic break on Wednesday with decades of U.S. policy on Jerusalem counters long-standing international assurances to the Palestinians that the fate of the city will be determined in negotiations. The Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as a future capital.
Palestinians shuttered their schools and shops on Thursday to begin three “days of rage” over Trump’s decision. Rallies were underway in other West Bank cities, and a demonstration was being held outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.
“We are here. We believe in our rights,” said Rania Hatem, a protester outside the Old City.