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Palestinians 'ready to sacrifice' for Jerusalem

Palestinians 'ready to sacrifice' for Jerusalem
From Al Jazeera - December 7, 2017

Bethlehem, occupied West Bank -Hundreds of Palestinians marched through Bethlehem in a "day of rage" protest against Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as anger over the controversial decision continues to spread across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli military forces shot tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem on Thursday, and at least seven youths were injured in the clashes, including one small child.

Men, women and children participated in the march, which was among several held in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, as well as in major cities across the region, throughout the day.

Palestinian leaders also declared a general strike across the Palestinian territories.

"I am seeing people at this protest that never come out to these kinds of demonstration," Rabee Alsos, 32, told Al Jazeera in Bethlehem.

"Jerusalem andal-Aqsa[Mosque] means a lot to everyone here, even the children. This [US] decision is a big mistake."

Trump announced on Wednesday that he was recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that he would begin the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city, to the disbelief of Palestinians and world leaders.

No country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem.

West Jerusalem was seized by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from historic Palestine, referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (catastrophe) when Israel was officially founded.

Israel subsequently occupied and annexed the eastern part of the city after its military victory in the 1967 war, but its control over East Jerusalem has never been recognised by the international community.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says the city cannot be divided.

While Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, thanked Trump for this week's decision, Palestinian leaders declared three "days of rage" to protest the controversial move.

Munther Amira, head of the Bethlehem-based popular struggle coordination committee, told Al Jazeera that Jerusalem is a "red line" for Palestinians.

"This decision is against international law and against our rights as Palestinians," said Amira,his eyes bloodshot red from tear gas during the protest in Bethlehem.

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