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  • A solidarity march staged in Mexico City after Trump declared his formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital

    A solidarity march staged in Mexico City after Trump declared his formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 December 2017

More than 50 Palestinians have so far been wounded in clashes following the United Nations vote on the United States' Jerusalem declaration.

Two more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during protests on the northern Gaza border, it has been reported. 

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The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the two men were shot dead with live ammunition used against the protesters. The victims have been identified as 24-year-old Zakaria al-Kafarna, and Mohammad al-Mallahi from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

Across the Palestinian territory, protesters marched after Friday prayers in a third "Friday of rage" against U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state, a move widely condemned by the international community.

The protests were organized after the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution condemning Trump's Jerusalem declaration. The vote was a reiteration of worldwide solidarity with Palestine and growing Israeli isolation.

A total of 128 countries voted for the resolution while only nine voted against it, even after the U.S. president threatened to cut aid to non-compliant countries.

"This isn't like it used to be, where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars," Trump said.

Among the U.S. supporters were Guatemala and Honduras. Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel defended the vote, saying the nation has supported Israel on numerous occasions throughout history.

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Argentina, Antigua-Barbuda, Haiti, Mexico and Paraguay abstained from the vote.

Demonstrations have so far taken place in Bethlehem, Salfit, Nablus, Ramallah and Tulkarem. In Jerusalem's Old City, police suppressed a march en route to Damascus Gate.

The Ministry of Health reported that 40 people were wounded in Gaza, while 17 more were injured in the West Bank after being hit either with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets.

In Bethlehem, one youth was shot in the head with a steel bullet. In Salfit, two youths were hit with live fire; one remains in critical condition, according to the Red Crescent. Near Ramallah, Israeli forces prevented an injured man from receiving medical attention.   

The latest casualties bring the Palestinian death toll to 12 in the third week since Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

The use of live ammunition has been deemed "excessive force" by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'd al-Hussein, who called on Israel to open an independent investigation into casualties on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinian Authority will not accept any peace plans proposed by the United States, insisting it "is not going to be based on the two-state solution on the 1967 border, nor is it going to be based on international law or UN resolutions."

During a press conference in Paris, Abbas also asked for European countries to play a stronger role.


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