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Oh wrestler, Jerusalem is not a chess piece– Gazans tell Trump

Israel/Palestine
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Amid hundreds acres of fields covered with grass and the rusty metal wires of old burnt tires, young protesters experienced in skirmishes with Israeli soldiers recommend to their newly experienced friends the best ways to avoid the tear gas and stun grenades fired from the Nahal Oz military post east of Gaza City.

About 100-300 meters from the border fence east of the Shajaiya neighborhood, which was exposed to massive destruction during the 2014 war, some 1,000 young men protested the U.S. president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by burning tires and throwing stones at the soldiers hidden behind reinforced barracks.

Demonstrations in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

As three friends — Mohammed Sukkar (23), Muammar Hellis (20) and Yasseen Abu al-Atta (24) — assembled in the field in preparation to throw stones, the army rained down a batch of around 20 tear gas bombs to force hundreds of demonstrators to run away. But they soon returned to throw the flaring bombs towards the barbed border again.

“Listen carefully, you have to run against the wind once you see white smoke and pay careful attention to your testicles of being hit by a bullet, otherwise you will lose everything as we lost Jerusalem,” Yassin was warning Mohammed and Muammar, who had not previously had similar skirmishes with the army.

Demonstrations in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

In this open area, tens of black smoke columns crossed with whites can be seen from burning tires and gas bombs, while ambulances cannot stop picking up suffocation or gunshot injuries. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported three killed and approximately 185 were injured in the clashes on five points along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. 587 injured in the West Bank and Jerusalem until Friday night.

Injured protester, near Nahal Oz border point, Gaza. Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

“There is something going on in my heart once this holy city comes under Israeli aggression, and it drives me to avenge. I know that I will not be able to hit that soldier, but he will get nervous all the time as long as we are here,” Mohammed told Mondoweiss.

Demonstrations in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

“I challenge anyone in the world to find any Palestinian house without a framed photo of Jerusalem or Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Mohammed added. “I felt very angry when they said that Trump would deliver a speech at 20:00 on Wednesday and announced his declaration. It was the most depressed night I had, ever.”

A donkey cart loaded with old tires was passing by the place. While angry protesters were rushing to put more tires on those already burning. Three anxious, half-veiled mothers ran up to force their children to return home.

Palestinian woman at demonstration in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

The angry youths on the 30th anniversary of the 1987 uprising were silent for a moment. They screamed again when each new injury goes down, and they called to the ambulance drivers to go to the victim. While stones keep flying, while others were giving middle fingers to the soldiers.

Demonstrations in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

On top one of the clay hills near the confrontations, Ahmed Matar, 23, was distributing Palestinian flags, and pictures of President Trump on an A4 papers, to set the photos on fire. “Oh Trump, Jerusalem is not a chess piece distributed as you like, it will be a capital only for the Palestinians,” he said.

Ahmad added that even the Americans themselves do not like this “wrestler.”

“And we will not recognize him as president either. He provokes our anger, and our fire will not be extinguished,” Ahmed, who studies nursing, and has never visited Jerusalem, told Mondoweiss.

“I hope to visit, even for minutes. They say it has a smell unlike other than all the cities of the world.”

Back in the center of Gaza City, the situation was similar to the days of the 1987 uprising. The atmosphere of the city was filled with black smoke due to the burning tires on the main intersections, while pickup trucks overloaded with protesters and blaring their horns were rushing to join the angry marches.

Demonstrations in Gaza Thursday following Trump announcement US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Photo copyright (c) Mohammed Asad.

In Palestine Square, in the middle of the old city, 21-year-old Musbah al-Daya was looking at the flyer for the central march. It carried a background image of Jerusalem. He said: “No power in the world can take our right in our city, Jerusalem, and today we are angry and alone, and there is no Arab state that stands by our side.”

He went on, “It seems that the United States does not want stability for this world since Trump took office, and today it seems that I will not visit Jerusalem forever as long as it falls under Israeli sovereignty.”

Between yesterday and today, many events have been experienced by the Palestinians. Thousands of martyrs have fallen, or been wounded and detained in the Israeli prisons. The first intifada had its own specificity: Israel suppressed the people by closing schools, besieging neighborhoods, and arresting people. After Trump’s speech, the specter of the intifada returns, and those who participated in the first uprisings are returning to the way of the struggle.

About Ahmad Kabariti

Ahmad Kabariti is a freelance journalist based in Gaza.

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Mohammed Asad
About Mohammed Asad

Mohammad Asad is a photo journalist based in the Gaza Strip where he has covered three wars, and nearly a decade of blockade. He is the 2015 winner of the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit photography “Spirit of Humanity” award, and the 2014 winner of the Abdel Razzaq Badran Photography Award, among other accolades

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10 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    December 10, 2017, 1:13 pm

    And they wonder why we are hated so much. As Tom Friedman said, Trump handed over Jerusalem and got NOTHING in return. The previous Presidents did not give it away, knowing it would be a useful bargaining chip, if ever there were peace talks. The imbecile in the WH gave it all away, and the Palestinians will suffer.

    It seems that “brilliant” peace negotiator, Kushner, showed what a great puppet he was, when the puppet master in Tel Aviv, yanked his chain. Perhaps the terror of Tel Aviv may have helped
    Kushner get out of the 666 Park Avenue billion dollar mess (cue in Adelson and other wealthy, devotees of the occupier) as a reward. Disgusting lot.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      December 10, 2017, 4:45 pm

      Netanyahu is utter scum

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/10/benjamin-netanyahu-visits-europe-after-us-recognition-of-jerusalem-israel-capital

      In uncompromising remarks unlikely to calm the ongoing crisis, Netanyahu replied by saying that the sooner Palestinians recognised the reality that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital, the sooner there would be peace.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        December 10, 2017, 10:40 pm

        Netanyahu IS utter scum. Like Trump, he has investigations going on against him, Bottle Sara, and their son, so he operates from a very bad place, and must welcome this distraction. He is In some ways just like Trump, he lies, exaggerates, and never takes the blame for anything, even when civilians are killed unnecessary. He needs to face the ICC and answer many questions.
        In some ways, he is a cartoon character, even holding up a cartoon bomb and saying we are all going to be blown up within months. That was years ago. I doubt many leaders believe his bull, and that Obama/Sarkozy live mic proves they don’t.

        It is ironic that the hasbara gnats keep saying how “corrupt” Yasser Arafaat was, yet many of their leaders have been investigated for corruption, and one is even in jail right now for it.
        I guess the billions of dollars US tax payers send them must find it’s way to those deep zionist pockets. Another effort at projection I guess.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      December 10, 2017, 7:07 pm

      Kay,

      What has the absurdity called Trump done that your Obama and Clintons hadn’t already done, now?

      Absolutely nothing more than Clinton and Bush and Bama!
      A Clinton law was continued. The current POS didn’t even move the Embassy, continuing the exact same hypocrisy; he didn’t even get a Party decision on Eternal Capital railroaded in, with your support, like Bama did. He just repeated what is the law of the US.

      Repeat:
      “US Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital in 2017” is a lie.
      The US does so since 1995 per Demopublican US Law.
      The Democrat Party does so since 2012 per DNC decision.
      So please stop the nonsense and the propaganda.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        December 11, 2017, 12:59 am

        Echi

        What is different is that Israel is now saying that if the Palestinians want a deal they must recognise Jerusalem as Israeli. Even you should be able to understand what has changed.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        December 11, 2017, 11:52 am

        More nonsense, this time from Maghlawatan.

        What is different is that Israel is now saying that if the Palestinians want a deal they must recognise Jerusalem as Israeli.

        I see.

        So what is **new** is that the Zionist entity is moving goalposts and insisting on crazily irrrealistic conditions for some pie-in-the-sky deal that it won’t ever make anyway (short of the Fall of the House of US.) (And stop calling that sh|t “Israel”.)

        My, isn’t that impressive in the way of Something New!

        What is even newer is the continued presence of people who continue to talk about “a deal” by the Zionists. Continue believing in Santa Claus. That will come handy in about 2 weeks.

        I just love the way we are avoiding the central point, namely that while scam artist Trump hasn’t done anything new at all but just reminded everybody of the treason by the Demolicanorepucrats, all our “liberals” are running around like headless chickens trying to camouflage that fact.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 11, 2017, 6:36 pm

        “all our “liberals” are running around like headless chickens”

        That is, figurative headless chickens. No chickens were harmed in the making of “Echin’s” comment. Nor any liberals.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        December 12, 2017, 2:31 am

        Mooser,

        What were we discussing? Ah, now I see: The US officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the Bastard State since 1995, by near-unanimous vote of representatives from your “party”. So does said party since 2012.

        At which point, back to your diversionary topic: one has to wonder if liberal chickens with their heads on can think any straighter than those who lost it.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    December 11, 2017, 2:16 am

    Trump is the next Balfour. So what’s new? Nothing can stop AIPAC shekels.

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