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Israel Strikes Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire


A wounded Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the border with Israel in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 29, 2017.

Israeli tanks and aircraft struck the Gaza Strip Friday after three rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave towards Israel, according to Palestinian and Israeli military sources.

Gaza City, Gaza
Gaza City, Gaza

The attacks occurred as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza and the occupied West Bank for a fourth straight day in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump's decision has outraged Palestinians, many Middle Eastern states and other members of the international community, which do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, an area within modern Jerusalem.

The Trump administration says it is committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East if that is what the parties want, and that the physical location of the U.S. embassy should have no bearing on the talks. It said the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a "recognition of reality" that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government.

Palestinians want Jerusalem and the Old City, where Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites are located, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Friday's exchange of fire was the first in more than ten days. There were no immediate reports of causalities.

Israelis react, Dec. 29, 2017, as sirens indicate rockets going off during an event for Israeli soldier Oron Shaul whom Israel believes died in the Gaza Strip and Hamas said it had captured during the Israeli Gaza war on 2014.
Israelis react, Dec. 29, 2017, as sirens indicate rockets going off during an event for Israeli soldier Oron Shaul whom Israel believes died in the Gaza Strip and Hamas said it had captured during the Israeli Gaza war on 2014.

Two of the three rockets fired by the Palestinians at southern Israel were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said. Police said the third rocket hit a structure in a community near Gaza.

Israeli tanks shelled an area east of Gaza City that is held by Gaza's Islamist rulers, witnesses said.

In the West Bank, small groups of Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops. In the Hebron area, medical and military sources said two Palestinians were wounded by live fire.

The Israeli army said there were smaller clashes in a number of other areas.

As they have in recent weeks, Gaza's ruling Hamas group and Islamic Jihad have labeled Friday a "day of rage."

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