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Israeli-Palestinian clashes erupt after Trump's Jerusalem announcement

08 Dec 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar
Trump's Jerusalem announcement sparks Israel-Palestine tensions

US President Donald Trump's recent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital has sparked Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

According to reports, at least 31 Palestinians were injured in clashes across Israel-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, of whom one person is reportedly in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has already called for a renewed "intifada" or an uprising.

Why are Palestinians angry? Read on.

In context: Trump's Jerusalem announcement sparks Israel-Palestine tensions

07 Dec 2017Trump delivers on Israel promise, recognizes Jerusalem as capital

On December 7, Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a bold and unprecedented step that reversed decades of official US policy.

Trump termed the move "a long overdue step to advance the middle-east peace process."

The status of Jerusalem is central to Israel-Palestine conflict.

Israel lauded the announcement while several world leaders criticized it.

08 Dec 2017Israeli-Palestinian clashes erupt after Trump's Jerusalem announcement

Why is the status of Jerusalem contentious?

Jerusalem lies along the border between Israel and the West Bank. It is home to religious sites considered holy by Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital while Palestinians envision East Jerusalem as the capital of their own future independent state.

DetailsViolence erupts in West Bank, Gaza Strip

Israel deployed troops as Palestinians took to the streets for protests.

As the protests turned violent, Israeli troops responded with tear gas, rubber, and live bullets.

According to the Israeli army, both sides also fired rockets at each other.

A rocket fired from Gaza Strip reportedly landed in South Israel. In response, the Israeli Army targeted "two terror posts" in Gaza.

ReasonsWhy are the Palestinians angry?

Currently, the West Bank is under the Palestinian Authority's nominal control but is under Israeli occupation.

Gaza is under the control of the Islamist fundamentalist party Hamas but is subject to an Israeli blockade.

Meanwhile, Israel is controversially allowing Jewish settlements to be constructed in the West Bank, land meant for the Palestinians.

Israel also continues to restrict Palestinian movement and activity.

DetailsWhat did Trump say?

Speaking at the White House on December 6, Trump stated that acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a "recognition of reality."

He said that he would order the state department to shift the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He said he had "judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the US, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and Palestine."

ReactionsIsrael lauds the announcement, world leaders criticize

In response to Trump's announcement, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country was "profoundly grateful" to him, while Palestine was clearly unhappy.

British PM Theresa May stated that the US announcement won't help peace prospects in the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his disagreement with the move as well.

UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres termed it "a great moment of anxiety."

US warningUS warns Palestine against canceling talks with Mike Pence

As Palestinians fume over the US' supposed favoritism of Israel, Washington has warned Palestine against canceling upcoming talks with Vice-President Mike Pence.

It would be "counterproductive" to cancel the talk between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Pence planned for later this month, the White House has said.

This comes after a senior Palestinian official said that Pence won't be welcome in the Palestinian territories.