Second wheelchair-bound Gazan documented in clashes with security forces
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Second wheelchair-bound Gazan documented in clashes with security forces

Participation of disabled protester in riot along border comes a week after Palestinian double amputee was killed in similar demonstration

Palestinians assist a demonstrator in a wheelchair during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border fence east of Gaza City on December 22, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)
Palestinians assist a demonstrator in a wheelchair during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border fence east of Gaza City on December 22, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

Just a week after a disabled Palestinian protester was killed during clashes with Israeli security forces along the Gaza border, another wheelchair-bound demonstrator was documented taking part in a violent riot in the Hamas controlled enclave against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to the Daily Mail, the demonstrator, whose identity is unknown, participated in the clashes east of Gaza City.

A photo of the protester in the UK tabloid showed him hurling rocks.

Protesters also carried a photo of Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a double amputee who was killed last week during similar clashes.

Palestinians carry a poster of wheelchair-bound Palestinian protester Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who was killed last week during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the border fence east of Gaza City, on December 22, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

The UN’s human rights chief said Tuesday he was “truly shocked” by Abu Thurayeh’s death and demanded an “independent and impartial investigation.”

The Israeli military on Monday evening said soldiers did not intentionally shoot Abu Thurayeh, though it could not determine his cause of death.

Abu Thurayeh’s story drew international news coverage, and thousands attended his funeral in the Gaza Strip last week.

The unmarried 29-year-old lived at home with his parents, and had been without regular work since a 2008 incident in which he lost his legs, according to the AFP news agency.

He was a regular presence at protests at the border.

Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waves a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the border fence east of Gaza City, May 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed/File)

On Friday, two Palestinian protesters were reported killed during violent demonstrations along the Gaza Strip’s security fence, as thousands more took part in riots in the coastal enclave and across the West Bank for the third straight week following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Zakaria al-Kafarneh, 24, died after being shot in the chest east of Jabaliya (in northern Gaza),” a Gaza health ministry spokesman said in a statement. There was no immediate information on the second person’s identity.

The army confirmed that live rounds had been fired at what it called “main instigators,” during the protest. “A hit was confirmed,” the army spokesperson said.

The Gaza health ministry, which is run by terror group Hamas, said that five or six other Palestinian rioters were shot with live ammunition.

The protests along the Gaza security fence took place in three main locations: Jabaliya, Khan Younis and Gaza City.

According to the IDF, some 2,000 people took part in the protests, throwing rocks and rollings burning tires at the fence and the soldiers on the other side.

Palestinian protesters bring tires to burn during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the border fence east of Gaza City on December 22, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

According to the military, approximately 1,700 Palestinians also took part in protests across the West Bank, a decrease from the number that participated last Friday — approximately 2,500 — and significantly fewer than the week before — nearly 10,000.

On Thursday, Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, in a rare televised address, called for Friday to be a “red bloody day,” following the day’s United Nations General Assembly vote against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Sinwar called on “the people of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Palestinians everywhere to spring into action on Friday so it will be a red bloody day for the occupation,” he said in the speech, broadcast on Al-Aqsa Television.

“I call for turning Friday into a decisive day in the struggle of our people to bring down the decision of Trump,” he added, speaking before a crowd of Gazan youth.

Amid fears in the terror group’s ranks that violent Palestinian protests against Trump’s December 6 announcement were fading, Sinwar gave specific instructions to would-be attackers in an explicit bid to fan the flames in the West Bank.

He urged Palestinians in the West Bank to head towards places of contact with IDF forces and to attack the soldiers. He also urged attacks against Israeli civilians living in the West Bank.

Leader of the Hamas terror group in Gaza Yahya Sinwar attends a gathering in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis on July 22, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

On Friday morning, the terror group amplified Sinwar’s instructions, telling supporters to head out to protests and rallies after Friday morning prayers. The organization specifically called on Palestinians in Bethlehem to gather “near the northern entrance of Bethlehem, and march towards the points of contact with the occupation,” which would bring the protesters to the checkpoints leading to Jerusalem.

And in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, it called for people to join a march “which will begin after Friday prayers in front of the new mosque.”

Trump’s announcement earlier this month was followed by violent Palestinian protests in the West Bank and Gaza, but the protests subsided considerably after the first week, and Israeli officials believe there is little likelihood of a full-fledged wave of violence developing.

Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, seeks to destroy Israel. It has been urging a new intifada since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, and has encouraged thousands of Gazans to confront Israeli troops at the Gaza border fence, where there have been several fatalities in recent weeks.

Sinwar also rejected any proposed US framework for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians — though the Trump administration has yet to make such a framework public. He said that the deal would end the Palestinian struggle, and the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was the first step of the deal.

A week ago Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for every Friday henceforth to be a day of rage across Palestinian, Arab and Muslim lands until Trump rescinds his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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