Israel airstrikes, Gaza rockets amid tensions over Jerusalem

Two Palestinians were killed Saturday in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as ...

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 3:50 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 3:50 AM

Two Palestinians were killed Saturday in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as tensions soared in the region after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said Israeli aircraft had targeted what it identified as four facilities belonging to Hamas -- the Palestinian Islamist group that controls Gaza -- early Saturday in response to rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza.

The aircraft targeted two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound, according to an IDF statement.

The two Palestinians killed were men, 27 and 30 years old, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qadra told CNN.

The IDF said Israeli aircraft had also struck a Hamas training compound and ammunition warehouse late Friday in Gaza.

One of the rockets fired from Gaza landed in the Israeli city of Sderot, according to the IDF. There was no mention of casualties.

Two Palestinians were also killed Friday in Gaza in clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces over Trump's controversial move. Mohammad Masry, 30, was killed when fired on by Israeli forces, and Maher Atallah, 54, died of injuries sustained in clashes earlier that day, the health ministry spokesman said.

Both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Sporadic clashes erupted Saturday between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces on a busy shopping street in the eastern part of Jerusalem and in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Ramallah.

Israeli security forces responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets as small groups of protesters threw rocks.

Seven people were arrested during the clashes on Salah el-Din Street in Jerusalem, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Rosenfeld later said via Twitter that four officers were slightly injured by stones and 13 protesters were arrested at the Damascus Gate area.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 140 people injured in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza -- including 18 from rubber bullets and 107 from tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile, crowds of mourners gathered in Gaza for the funerals of the four men killed there.

An Israeli army statement said what it called violent riots had broken out Friday in about 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza. The main disturbances in the West Bank were in Hebron, Al-Arroub, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Qalqilya and Nablus.

More than 300 people were injured Friday across the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, 50 of whom needed hospital treatment, the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry said.

At least 49 people were also injured Thursday during protests over Trump's decision, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Trump's move Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and commit to moving the US Embassy to the holy city has prompted international condemnation and sparked protests in countries around the globe, from Indonesia and Malaysia to Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told reporters in Cairo on Saturday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with US Vice President Mike Pence during his planned visit this month to the region.

Malki said the Palestinian Authority considers the United States "has withdrawn ... from the peace process" and "positioned itself as an actor in the conflict and not as a mediator."

Calling the Trump administration decision "illegal and illegitimate and null and void legally and politically," Malki said there would be no formal communication with US officials.

He said the Palestinian leadership has "no intention of withdrawing from the peace process" and will instead seek a new mediator to work toward a two-state solution.

US envoy to UN defends Trump move

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, defended Trump's decision and criticized member countries for their treatment of Israel during an emergency UN Security Council meeting Friday.

She also said the United States has credibility with both the Israelis and the Palestinians and that any peace agreement would likely be "signed on the White House lawn."

"The United States is not predetermining final status issues," Haley said.

"We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties."

Several countries voiced their opposition to the US decision before Haley's comments, including France and Egypt.

Egypt's Coptic Church won't meet Pence

Egypt's Coptic Church on Saturday issued a statement "excusing" itself from receiving Pence during his upcoming visit, state-run Al-Ahram reported, citing a church statement.

"In consideration of the decision that the US administration took regarding Jerusalem, which was inappropriately timed and took no consideration of the feeling of millions of Arab people, the Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Church excuses itself from this meeting," Al-Ahram cited the statement as saying.

Speaking Friday in Paris, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "is not something that will happen this year, probably not next year."

He also said that Trump's decision did not "indicate any final status for Jerusalem," adding that the "final status would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide."

This story has been updated to correct a Palestinian Health Ministry report that originally stated one person was killed in an airstrike Friday. The report was later updated to say that the person died from injuries suffered in clashes, not an airstrike.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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