More Violence In Jerusalem After U.S. Recognizes City As Capital
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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting in foreign language).
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Chanting in foreign language).
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Chanting in Jerusalem as violence intensified today both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip two days after President Trump's announcement that the U.S. now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The day saw at least two fatalities. Palestinians say two men were killed and an infant critically injured. Israel conducted airstrikes on Gaza in response to rocket attacks. Trump's announcement reversed long-held U.S. policy that Jerusalem's status should be resolved in peace talks.
NPR's Daniel Estrin is on the line now from Jerusalem. Hey, Daniel.
DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.
KELLY: Can you give us a snapshot of what was happening across the Middle East today, this day when people were holding their breath, waiting to see how much violence the day might bring?
ESTRIN: Right. Around the Arab and Muslim world, there were protests. And here, militants in Gaza fired rockets toward Israel. One rocket hit an Israeli border town. There were no injuries. In response, Israel says it carried out airstrikes on militant sites in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least one Palestinian was killed. At least 15 were wounded, including reportedly two infants. One is reportedly in critical condition.
And then there were a few thousand Palestinians who demonstrated throughout the West Bank and Gaza. There were clashes with Israeli troops. At least one Palestinian was killed.
KELLY: Now, what has been the message coming down from leaders both Israeli and Palestinian? What are they telling people there to do?
ESTRIN: Well, Israeli government ministers are very pleased with Trump's declaration because Israel has long felt the international community undermines Israel's right to Jerusalem, Jewish ties to Jerusalem. Actually, there are reports that the Israeli Parliament on Monday could pass a bill that would put up obstacles to Israel ever ceding parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in the future.
Today, also, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting. The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N. said the U.S. had disqualified its role as leading in peace efforts, though the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said, actually, with the Trump administration's diplomacy, we might be closer to peace than ever.
KELLY: Meanwhile, though, there are some calls for more protests tomorrow, possibly more violence. We don't know. Where could things go from here?
ESTRIN: Tomorrow there's a summit of Arab foreign ministers. The Palestinian Authority president is attending a Muslim summit next week. So we won't be seeing the Palestinian leadership making any major announcements about what steps it's going to take in the coming days. But yes, Palestinian factions are calling for more protests tomorrow. A Palestinian Authority official had told us earlier that leaders didn't want to see the situation spin out of control. So we're going to have to see.
KELLY: Daniel, thanks very much.
ESTRIN: You're welcome.
KELLY: That's NPR's Daniel Estrin reporting from Jerusalem.
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