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15 Dec 2017

Israeli troops wounds more than 40 Palestinians in protests over U.S. Jerusalem

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital entered a second week.

Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence. Medics said two protesters, one of them wheelchair-bound, were killed and 150 wounded.

In the occupied West Bank, another area where Palestinians are seeking statehood along with adjacent East Jerusalem, medics said two protesters were killed and 10 wounded by Israeli gunfire.

One of the dead was a man who Israeli police troopers said was shot after he stabbed a member of their unit. Reuters witnesses said the Palestinian held a knife and wore what looked like a bomb belt. A Palestinian medic who helped evacuate the man for treatment said the belt was fake.

Palestinians -- and the wider Arab and Muslim world -- were incensed at Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement, which reversed decades of U.S. policy reticence on Jerusalem, a city where both Israel and the Palestinians want sovereignty.

Washington’s European allies and Russia have also voiced worries about Trump’s decision.

Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists, which reject coexistence with Israel, called last week for a new Palestinian uprising, but any such mass-mobilisation has yet to be seen in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.

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