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Israel forces, Palestinians clash in West Bank, 20 injured

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint in the city of Bethlehem in the south of the occupied West Bank, December 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Twenty Palestinians have sustained injuries during heavy clashes between Israeli forces and protesters rallying in the occupied West Bank against the US’s recent recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”

Palestinians started taking to the streets of the city of Bethlehem since the early hours of Saturday, the Palestinian Shehab News Agency reported.

The casualties were caused after the forces began targeting the crowd with rubber-coated bullets and fired tear gas to disperse protesters. 

Mass protests were expected to erupt in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jerusalem al-Quds, al-Khalil (Hebron), Nablus, and Tulkarm in the West Bank from 01:00 pm local time (11:00 GMT).

US President Donald Trump announced that the US would be recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” on Wednesday and ordered that work on the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds begin.

That declaration sent shockwaves throughout the Muslim world, and even prompted warnings from Washington’s allies in the West that it would bring more chaos to the region.

Israel lays claim to the entire city as its “capital,” while Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

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