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Israeli tanks and aircraft struck the Gaza Strip Friday after three rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave towards Israel, according to Palestinian and Israeli military sources.
The attacks occurred as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza and the occupied West Bank for a fourth straight day in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s decision has outraged Palestinians, many Middle Eastern states and other members of the international community, which do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, an area within modern Jerusalem.
The Trump administration says it is committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East if that is what the parties want, and that the physical location of the U.S. embassy should have no bearing on the talks. It said the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “recognition of reality” that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government.
Palestinians want Jerusalem and the Old City, where Muslim, Christian, and Jewish holy sites are located, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Friday’s exchange of fire was the first in more than ten days. There were no immediate reports of causalities.
Israeli tanks shelled an area east of Gaza City that is held by Gaza’s Islamist rulers, witnesses said.
In the West Bank, small groups of Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops. In the Hebron area, medical and military sources said two Palestinians were wounded by live fire.
The Israeli army said there were smaller clashes in a number of other areas.
As they have in recent weeks, Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and Islamic Jihad have labeled Friday a “day of rage.”