By RICH SCHAPIRO, JESSICA SCHLADEBECK, ADAM SCHRADER and ANDREW KESHNER
Published in the New York Daily News on Dec. 8, 2017
Two Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces Friday amid violent demonstrations sparked by President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Holy Land.
The bloodshed came as thousands took to the streets across the Middle East and elsewhere on what Hamas had labeled a “day of rage.”
Demonstrators poured into Times Square Friday evening to express their opposition.
They lost their voices chanting “Free Palestine!” and Uber drivers held out their cell phones displaying the flags of Muslim-majority countries.
The mass moving up Midtown was so big — anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 — it split in different directions.
Most bystanders supported the demonstration. One car drove by with a Palestinian flag draped over the hood.
The Manhattan protests were peaceful. Police were restrained and kept the crowd marching.
“Walk away from my boys,” one police officer was heard saying as protesters approached cops controlling the crowd.
“A decision like this without understanding the history, without understanding the intricacies of the impact of this decision is very bad,” said demonstrator Al Suqi, of New Jersey.
“It’s a very touchy subject and this is will more than likely lead to a religious war, which we hope is not going to happen,” said Suqi, 53, who was born in Palestine.
In the Middle East, the most violent clashes broke out in the West Bank and Gaza where Israeli soldiers shot dead 30-year-old Mohammed Al-Masri, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
A second Palestinian was killed along the Gaza Strip, authorities said.
Dozens of Palestinian protesters were injured in the skirmishes that erupted after Friday prayers.
The Israeli military said hundreds of Palestinians were rolling burning tires and throwing rocks across the border at soldiers.
“During the riots, Israel Defense Forces soldiers fired selectively towards two main instigators and hits were confirmed,” the country’s military said in a statement.
Later Friday, Israeli warplanes bombed Hamas military targets, injuring at least 25, after militants fired rockets into Israel.The wounded included six children, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The Israeli military said it intercepted one of at least two projectiles fired from Gaza.
One rocket struck the town of Sderot but no casualties were reported.
More demonstrations were held all across the Middle East, as well as places like Somalia, Malaysia, Indonesia, London and Chicago.
With News Wire Services.