Gazan dies of wounds from Israel border clash


GAZA CITY: A Palestinian died on Saturday after being wounded by Israeli fire during a protest on the Gaza border against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Health Ministry said.

Sharaf Shalash, 28, sustained bullet wounds last Sunday during a demonstration east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said.

His death brings to 11 the number of Palestinians killed since US President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 6 that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Nine protesters have died in clashes with Israeli troops, two of them on Friday. Two others were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza earlier in the month.

Shalash and the two Palestinians killed on Friday were buried on Saturday, in Gaza City, Beit Hanun and Jabalia.

After the Shalash funeral in Jabalia, Palestinians went to the border with Israel where they threw stones at soldiers, who responded with tear gas and live bullets.

One Palestinian was wounded, Qudra said.
A UN General Assembly resolution passed on Thursday, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 Jerusalem declaration, did little to calm Palestinian anger over his reversal of decades-old US policy on the contested holy city.

Most countries regard the status of Jerusalem as a matter to be settled in an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, although that process is now stalled.

A total of 128 countries voted for the UN resolution. Nine opposed it and 35 abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a Christmas message, called the US move “an insult to millions of people worldwide, and also to the city of Jerusalem.”

Abbas also said Palestinians would reject new Middle East peace proposals to be unveiled by US President Donald Trump early next year.

“The United States has proved to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it,” he told a joint press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron repeated his earlier condemnation of the US decision, but he also ruled out recognizing Palestine as a state, which France has considered before.

“The Americans have marginalized themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing,” Macron said.

Abbas praised Macron at the news conference, which was notable for the warmth of the exchanges and the relaxed body language.

Macron said he had “committed myself very clearly to doing everything” to further the peace process and would visit the Palestinian territories in 2018 and “intensify” contacts between the French and Palestinian governments.

The US decision on Jerusalem continues to reverberate in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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