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US’s Haley at UNSC: Those who resort to violence show they don’t want peace

Israeli envoy Danon says Jerusalem recognition should be ‘reality check’ for Palestinians; 2 killed in Gaza, 250 injured in W. Bank protests; Iron Dome intercepts rocket from Strip

The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they unfolded.

Hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in West Bank, Gaza

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters are clashing with Israeli security forces in the West Bank cities of Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah after Friday midday prayers in a show of rage over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Protesters threw stones at Israeli troops who are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets.

In Gaza, thousands take to the streets and march to denounce US President Donald Trump’s proclamation.

Over a dozen Palestinians are injured by tear gas and rubber bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent says.

Thousands of Palestinian worshippers also are rallying outside Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque, a sensitive holy site in the city.

Thousands of Gazans rally against Trump Jerusalem move

Thousands of Palestinians are rallying in the Gaza Strip in protest of the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Rallies organized by the Hamas terrorist group are taking place in Jabalia and Beit Lahia.

According to reports in Hebrew-language media, several hundred Palestinian are clashing with Israeli troops along the border.

France, Lebanon warn Jerusalem recognition threatens Mideast stability

The leaders of France and Lebanon are warning that the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is threatening stability throughout the region.

With protests under way around the Arab world over the decision, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “launching an appeal for calm and responsibility.”

Macron spoke at the opening of an international conference in Paris on settling Lebanon’s political crisis. He said tensions around Jerusalem are threatening stability throughout the region and efforts to stabilize Lebanon.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, also in Paris, said the US decision “will further complicate the peace process and pose an additional challenge to the stability of the whole region.” Hariri’s brief resignation last month sparked fears of a new proxy conflict in Lebanon.

— AP

Nearly 100 Palestinians reported injured in West Bank clashes with Israeli forces

Close to 100 Palestinians are injured in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Red Crescent says of the 95 injured, 72 are from tear gas, 21 by rubber bullets and one protester is injured by live bullet fire.

Jordanians rally in solidarity protest, chant, ‘Jerusalem is Arab’

Hundreds of Jordanians are chanting “Jerusalem is Arab,” as part of a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The march is taking place in the center of the capital of Amman, following Friday mosque prayers.

The demonstrators raise posters showing Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site. They chanted, “America is the head of the snake.”

Jerusalem is home to key Muslim, Jewish and Christian shrines and its eastern sector is sought by the Palestinians as a future capital. Israel claims the entire city as its capital.

Jordan has a special stake in Jerusalem. Its monarch is the religious guardian of the Muslim shrine, and the kingdom has a large Palestinian population.

— AP

4 Palestinians injured in Gaza border clashes

At least 14 Palestinian protesters are injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza health ministry said two are seriously injured, one from a rubber bullet and the other from live fire.

Muslims in Kashmir protest against Trump Jerusalem declaration

Hundreds of Muslims are protesting in Indian-controlled Kashmir against the Trump administration’s recognition this week of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The protesters marched at several places in the main city of Srinagar and other parts of the region after Friday prayers. They are chanting slogans such as “Down with America” and “Down with Israel.”

In some places, the demonstrators are also burning US and Israeli flags.

Authorities imposed a curfew in parts of Srinagar and banned Friday prayers at the city’s main mosque, fearing the protests could morph into violent action against Indian rule.

Kashmiri leaders have called Trump’s move “anti-Muslim.”

Kashmiris have shown solidarity with Palestine in the past and there have been violent protests in Kashmir during previous conflicts between Israel and Palestine.

— AP

Egyptians protest US move on Jerusalem

Hundreds of Egyptians are protesting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there.

The protests, reported by state-run TV, are taking place at the famous Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo following Friday prayers amid tightened security.

The protesters are chanting “Down with Israel” and “We sacrifice our blood and souls for Palestine.”

Trump’s break with long-standing US policy on Jerusalem’s status fueled anger across the Middle East. Arab and Muslim leaders said the move would disrupt the peace process and could ignite violent protests in the already-volatile region.

— AP

Thousands across Turkey protest against Trump Jerusalem move

Thousands of people across Turkey are protesting US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

More than 3,000 people are gathered outside a mosque in Istanbul’s conservative Fatih district after Friday prayers and are marching toward a park, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans protesting the United States and Israel.

State-run TRT television reports that similar protests were being staged by worshippers outside mosques in the capital, Ankara, and in the cities of Kocaeli, Bursa and Izmir.

Small crowds are also holding demonstrations across the street from the heavily protected US Embassy, chanting: “USA take your bloodied hands off Jerusalem.”

— AP

In Beirut, 5,000 rally against US pivot on Jerusalem

Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians marched in the streets of Beirut in protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

More than 5,000 people took to the streets near the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatilla after Friday prayers and marched toward a cemetery where hundreds of Palestinians, including commanders, are buried.

The Shatilla refugee camp was the site of a massacre that left hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians dead in 1982 during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The massacre in Shatilla and the nearby camp of Sabra was carried out by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied with Israel.

Carrying Palestinian flags, the group marched from the Imam Ali mosque in Beirut’s western neighborhood of Tareeq Jadeedeh to the cemetery before they dispersed peacefully.

— AP

Abbas may refuse to meet with Pence over Jerusalem declaration

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesperson suggests PA leader won’t meet with US Vice President Mike Pence after President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

“Jerusalem is more important than the American administration and we will not give up on it in return for a meeting with the US Vice President,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh tells Al Jazeera.

Pence is due to meet the Palestinian president in the second half of December on a regional tour.

Palestinian leaders have been so outraged over Trump’s decision they have argued it disqualifies the US from its traditional role as peace broker in the Middle East conflict.

— Dov Lieber

Protests in Somalia against US over Jerusalem

Several hundred people are protesting in Somalia’s capital against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The protesters in Mogadishu, led by Islamic scholars, marched from a mosque after Friday prayers to the bustling K4 junction to show solidarity with Palestinians.

They chanted anti-Israel and anti-Trump slogans including “Down, Trump!”

“I am really disappointed in this decision,” protester Shamso Aden says. “Our sentiment is so high. We won’t accept this, as we will fight to the end.”

Another protester, Amir Mohamed, says: “This is blackmailing the Muslim community at large.”

— AP

Palestinians say number of injured protesters now 200

The Palestinian Red Crescent says there have been 217 injuries in the West Bank and Jerusalem: seven injured by live fire, 45 by rubber bullets, 162 from tear gas inhalation and three from being struck.

In the Gaza Strip, the Red Crescent says it treated 15 protester injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.

Thousands of Palestinians are rallying in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in protest of the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

— Dov Lieber

Czech PM says he won’t move embassy to Jerusalem

The new Czech prime minister has dismissed a suggestion by President Milos Zeman that the Czech Republic should follow the US example and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Talking to the Czech public radio, Andrej Babis says “this idea of President (Donald) Trump is not good. You can see the reactions.”

Babis says “the big countries should seek peace.”

Trump’s decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as the capital of Israel broke with decades of US policy, angering the Palestinians and igniting protests across the region.

Zeman said in a television interview late Thursday that he was happy with Trump’s decision and the Czech Republic and the European Union should do the same. Zeman said as early as 2013 that the Czech Republic should relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, angering Arab leaders.

The Czech Foreign Ministry said it has no such plan to follow the US president’s example.

Zeman’s position is largely ceremonial and the government is in charge of foreign policy.

Zeman was among the few European leaders who endorsed Donald Trump for US president.

Tillerson says Jerusalem embassy move probably not for 2 years

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem would probably not take place for at least two years.

“This is not something that is going to happen this year or probably not next year but the president does want us to move in a very concrete, very steadfast way,” Tillerson says after talks in Paris with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.


Hundreds protest US move on Jerusalem in Umm al-Fahm

Thousands of Israeli Arabs in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm are protesting Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

At the event organized by the The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, protesters carry signs reading “Al-Quds is the capital of Palestine,” and “Down with Trump.”

MK Yousef Jabarin says the US pivot on Jerusalem amounted to spitting in the face of the international community: “We never had expectations from the US, but Trump this week placed his country at the forefront of those worming against the peace efforts, against the entire world.”

Putin to visit Turkey next week for talks on Jerusalem

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey next week for talks with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Syria and the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Turkish presidency says in a statement.

Putin will visit Ankara on Monday “at the invitation of” Erdogan, the presidency said, adding that the talks would focus on the latest developments on Jerusalem and the situation in Syria.


Palestinian man killed in Gaza border clashes

The Palestinian health ministry says 30-year-old Mohammad al-Masri was killed in clashes with Israeli security forces along the Gaza border.

Masri was reportedly killed in clashes east of Khan Younis.

The Palestinian Red Crescent says it has treated a total of 245 protesters injured in clashes in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The ambulance service says 11 of those injuries were caused by live fire.

IDF general urges Palestinians not to listen to extremists inciting violence

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai urges Palestinians to prevent extremists from inciting violence in the West Bank and Gaza.

In a Facebook post, the IDF general says “don’t listen to the extremists who, in their call to violence, do nothing but harm you.”

“Extremists want to incite the streets with lies and distortions because they say this is a religious war,” Mordechai writes. “In the end, a violent reality will only harm the Palestinian public who is being lied to about the religious nature of the conflict and the preservation of holy places.”

He underscores the changed US policy toward Jerusalem does not change the status quo of the holy sites, and that all border crossings in the West Bank and Gaza are open as usual.

Watch UN Security Council emergency meeting on Jerusalem

The United Nations Security Council is meeting in an emergency session to discuss the US recognition of Jerusalem.

Watch the livestream.

Diplomats hope UNSC meeting will show US ‘isolation’ on Jerusalem

International diplomats are not showing particular optimism that the Security Council’s meeting will produce tangible results.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.

— with AFP

Warning sirens blare in south as Iron Dome intercepts rocket from Gaza

Sirens have sounded in southern Israel after a rocket was launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system and was destroyed mid-flight.

UN envoy to region concerned by prospect of intensified violence

Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, says he is concerned by the prospect of violence following US recognition of Jerusalem.

He is urging both sides to avoid actions that will enflame tensions.

Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, speaks during a press conference at the UNESCO headquarters in Gaza City, September 25, 2017. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)


Israeli envoy: UNSC must make clear there is no excuse for violence

Ahead of the UNSC meeting, Israeli envoy Danny Danon said US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “a milestone” for peace.

He said the announcement has “revealed the sad truth of those who perhaps claim they want peace but now threaten to spark a wave of violence.”

Danny Danon, Israel’s representative to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on October 18, 2017. (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)

He said the council “must convey the message that there is no excuse for violence.”

He called on all nations “to join our friend the US, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move their embassies to Jerusalem.”

US envoy Haley: ‘Change is hard, but when we face the truth peace can happen’

America’s UN envoy Nikki Haley says, “It it simple common sense that the US embassy be located” in Jerusalem.

The US “took this step in full knowledge that this would raise questions.

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)

“Change is hard, but we should never doubt what the truth can do…when we face the truth…peace can happen.”

She says anyone who use Washington’s actions as a pretext for violence “are only showing” they are not partners for peace.

Second rocket siren sounds in Gaza periphery

Another warning siren has been heard in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip.

There is no word yet on if and where a rocket has exploded.

Haley: Trump remains committed to peace

Haley says US President Trump is committed to ongoing efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

“Let me again assure you, the president and this administration remain committed to the peace process,” she tells the Security Council.


Anti-Semitic slurs heard in Berlin pro-Palestinian protest

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian, largely Muslim protesters are demonstrating near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

Channel 10 news reports that protesters are chanting “Allahu akbar,” and some have made anti-Semitic calls.

Demonstrators wave Palestinian, Turkish and Syrian flags in front of the Brandenburg Gate, next to the US embassy in Berlin on December 8, 2017, (AFP/John MacDougall)

Palestinian UN envoy calls on US to ‘rescind’ Jerusalem recognition

The Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour blasts Israel’s “glee” at the Jerusalem declaration.

Mansour cites “global consensus” against Washington’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. He says the decision by the US should be reconsidered and rescinded.

“There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution” to Jerusalem, he says, calling the city “the heart of Palestine.”

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)


Army tells communities near Gaza to expect more rockets

Following two rocket launches from Gaza this evening the Israeli military is warning residents of the Gaza periphery to remain close to protected spaces and bomb shelters.

The army says more launches are possible.

Danon: US declaration should be ‘reality check’ for Palestinians

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon tells the UN Security Council “every member of this council must send a clear message there is never an excuse for violence. Violence must never be used as a threat.”

Danon shows off an antique coin from “the second Jewish temple” to highlight the ancient Jewish connection to Israel’s capital.

Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on October 18, 2017. (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)

He says the recognition of Jerusalem “should serve as a reality check for the Palestinians and for the nations of the world” that “recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a critical and necessary step for peace.”

Danon insists that “this declaration is a positive step.”

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