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Protests flare in Mideast after Trump's Jerusalem pronouncement

Samir Zedan and Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said in a statement Thursday it had treated more than 108 wounded in Gaza and the West Bank, adding that a number had been shot with live ammunition.

Ismail Haniyah, head of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, said Trump's announcement marked "a new equation" in the "Satanic alliance" between the U.S and Israel that could "only be confronted by launching the spark of a new intifada." He added that Jerusalem was "unified," and was Palestinian.

"There is no existence for Israel on the land of Palestine. It has no presence on the land of Palestine for it to have a capital," he said. "We declare ... that what is called the peace process has been buried ... and forever."

Meanwhile, Palestinian president and head of Fatah Mahmoud Abbas began a round of diplomatic maneuvering by meeting Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman on Thursday, where police had cut off roads leading to the U.S. Embassy in the West Amman neighborhood of Abdoun to prevent protesters from reaching its grounds.

Both leaders, according to a statement issued by Jordanian state operator Petra, "affirmed that any measure to tamper with the historical and legal status of Jerusalem is null and void and will only lead to more tension and violence in the region and the world."

Regional leaders echoed the sentiment, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying on Thursday it was a "step that would throw ... this region into a ring of fire."

"What would you like to do (with this step), Mr. Trump? What kind of stance is it?" said Erdogan in a press conference in Ankara, according to Turkish state news operator Anadolu.


Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for his "historic announcement," insisting that other countries would soon follow suit and move their embassies to Jerusalem.

(Zedan and Bulos are special correspondents.)

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