Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in demonstrations along the Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The latest violence flared amid tensions over the status of Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump early this month recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday rebuked the move.
The Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, called for a “Day of Rage” and joined other Palestinian factions in staging protests.
One of those killed was Zakariya Al-Kafarneh, 24, from Gaza, who was shot in the chest with live ammunition, the ministry said. The second victim has not yet been identified.
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
In a statement issued earlier Friday, the Israeli military said approximately 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza rolled burning tires and hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers.
“Troops are responding with riot dispersal means. In addition, during the violent riots IDF soldiers fired live rounds selectively towards main instigators,” the statement said.
Instability over Jerusalem
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his commitment to moving the US embassy to the holy city prompted international criticism and sparked protests across the world.
The issue is of key importance because if a peace deal were reached one day, Palestinians – and many in the international community – see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. That becomes a lot tougher with Washington’s position “tantamount to saying that Washington now recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the entire city,” veteran Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller has said.
Last week, four Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded in the West Bank and Gaza during violent clashes between Israeli troops and protesters.
Roughly 2,500 Palestinians rolled burning tires and hurled firebombs and rocks at police in several West Bank cities, and another 3,500 clashed with soldiers along the security fence in Gaza, the Israeli army said.
The United Nations on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to condemn Trump’s move, despite threats from the United States to pull funding from the world body.
Some 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine voted “no,” and 35 nations abstained, including Canada, Mexico and Australia.