Israeli troops shot more than 40 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank Friday in response to protests over President Donald Trump’s move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
Medical officials stated Friday that 38 Palestinians were wounded on the border of the Gaza Strip, three were wounded in the West Bank and in the city of Ramallah, Israeli forces shot a man who stabbed a member of their unit, Reuters reports.
“During the violent riots IDF soldiers fired selectively towards main instigators,” the military said.
According to the Israeli military, 2,500 Palestinians participated in violent riots in the West Bank and 3,500 Palestinians demonstrated near the Gaza Strip.
The protests over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital are now entering their second week. In addition to protests on the ground, Hamas has launched rockets into Israel almost every night, though the rockets are usually so ineffective that they rarely cause any civilian casualties or substantial damage. A total of 15 rockets have been fired at Israel over the past week, but no civilians have been killed.
In response to rocket fire, Israel has been launching airstrikes in Gaza to target Hamas training facilities. The airstrikes have resulted in two deaths.
Plain clothes Israeli troops disguised as Palestinian protesters have also been moving among the crowd to arrest rock throwers in Ramallah.
The rest of the broader region hasn’t taken kindly to Trump’s announcement. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 member states, issued a statement Wednesday that Trump’s move in effect disqualifies the U.S. from any role in the Israel-Palestine peace process. The organization also asked for other states to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
At the meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Israel a “terrorist state,” and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized other Arab nations for not condemning the U.S.’s actions strongly enough. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two U.S. allies in the region, have been slow to get in the fray over the Jerusalem decision.
“It seems some countries are very timid of the United States,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey further stated Friday that he intends ask the United Nations to render null Trump’s declaration, but any efforts from Erdogan via this avenue are essentially useless, since the United States as a member of the U.N. Security Council holds veto power on any such forthcoming proposal.
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