As was expected, Friday’s “day of rage” among Palestinians protesting against President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city brought large numbers of people into the streets, and also led to a violent crackdown by Israel.
According to data from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the crackdowns ended the day with two Palestinians killed, and 331 wounded. 13 of the wounded were shot with live bullets, though most were hit with rubber bullets.
This is an unsurprising toll given the size of the protest, and the eagerness among Israeli officials to label the protesters “rioters” and push for police crackdowns on any pretext.
Palestinian officials, including top figures in both Hamas and Fatah, are warning that the protests are likely to continue to escalate, with Hamas figure Ismail Haniyeh suggesting that a new intifada could free Jerusalem outright from Israeli control.
The US position on Jerusalem is controversial not just in Israel/Palestine but internationally. Israel’s definition of “unified Greater Jerusalem” encompasses massive amounts of Palestinian territory under Israeli military occupation, which is a big part of why no country in the world, up until Trump’s declaration, actually acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Many see Trump’s declaration as an endorsement of Israel retaining its occupation going forward, and reducing the chances Palestine will ever manage to get an independent state.