Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza Strip, one intercepted by Iron Dome; IDF retaliates with strikes in Strip, hitting numerous Hamas targets, killing two militants; Palestinians claim 25 injured; In third attack rocket explodes in Sderot, Dec. 8, 2017.
The Israel Air Force carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip Friday night in retaliation for rocket fire on Israel.
The IDF confirmed that the Air Force hit two Hamas targets- one a Hamas training facility and the second a weapons depot in its first airstrikes on Friday night after rockets were fired at southern Israel on Friday evening, the Iron Dome intercepting a rocket with no damages or injury reported. A third rocket from Gaza exploded in Sderot, with damages to vehicles reported.
The IAF again carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response, the IDF Spokespersons Unit reporting the IDF strikes were on Hamas weapons production sites and a weapons storage facility. Hamas reported that two of its militants were killed in strikes overnight.
The IDF released the statement “In response to the rockets fired at southern Israeli communities throughout yesterday, Israel air force aircraft targeted four facilities belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.”
Hamas responded to the attacks, warning that “Israel bears full responsibility for any results of the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday [Friday], the spark of the intifada was lit and it will continue to blaze until we achieve our aim.”
Palestinian media reported 25 civilians injured in the IAF strikes.
The rocket attacks follow attacks on southern Israel on Thursday night, as well as riots and violent protests in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the border with Gaza where over 30 Palestinians clashed with IDF forces, with one Palestinian killed.
Photo: Rocket fire on southern Israel, CC
Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrate with clashes, riots & violence in West Bank, Jerusalem & Gaza Strip; Hundreds of Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces in West Bank; IDF increases forces throughout West Bank and Jerusalem; Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel last night, IAF retaliated, Dec. 8, 2017.
Riots, demonstrations and clashes broke out between Palestinians with IDF and Israeli security forces throughout the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip on Friday, following the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Hamas and factions of the Palestinian Authority called on Palestinians to take part in a “Day of Rage” Friday, thousands of Palestinians taking to the streets of Gaza Friday denouncing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh continues to call on Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab Israelis to start an intifada, stating on Friday “We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation [Israel] regret this decision.” He previously warned that Trump’s decision “will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”
The Israel Air Force responded to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Thursday night in southern Israel, no injuries or damages reported. The IAF retaliated with airstrikes hitting two terrorist positions in the Strip. It reported following “In response to projectiles fired at Israel throughout the day an IDF tank and an IAF aircraft targeted two terrorist posts in the Gaza Strip. The IDF holds Hamas responsible for the hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip.”
On Friday afternoon, a Palestinian man was killed in clashes with IDF forces on the Gaza border, the IDF increases its forces along the border wall and fence.
In Jerusalem’s Old City, clashes between Israeli police began on Thursday, with riots and demonstrations breaking out in Jerusalem’s Old City, mostly from Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa for Friday prayers. Over 50 were reported injured with dozens of arrests.
Latest reports claim over 3,000 Palestinian protesters in the West Bank in the cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, with over 30 protests through out the West Bank. Over 250 Palestinians have been treated for injuries.
Large protests have been reported through out the Middle East, with Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia holding demonstrations in support of the Palestinians.
Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah voiced the terrorist organization’s support for the Palestinians to rise to violence, calling for protests in Lebanon on Monday. He stated Friday “We support the call for a new Palestinian intifada uprising and escalating the resistance, which is the biggest, most important and gravest response to the American decision. The people of Palestine stand today at the first line of defense for Jerusalem and its shrine.”
Israel’s internal security and the IDF began preparing for riots and demonstrations on Wednesday, reinforcing IDF troops in the West Bank, on the border of Gaza and through out Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been clear that the United States recognition will not change the status quo at any of Israel’s religious sites.
Be sure to watch’s Amir’s Special Middle East Current Events Update from Thursday, where he addresses President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem and its ramifications.
President holds Hanukkah reception at White House following historic recognition of Jerusalem; Trump: Hanukkah is a time for Jewish families around the world to celebrate the miracles of the past and promises of the future. We are proud to stand with the people of Israel and to renew our enduring bond; Jews worldwide to celebrate Hanukkah beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2017.
President Trump hosted a White House Hanukkah reception at the White House on Thursday night, marking the nation’s historic recognition of Jerusalem and upcoming celebration of Hanukkah.
Trump spoke of the miracle of Hanukkah amidst the persecution of the Jewish people, stating “This evening we gather to celebrate the story that is told in Jewish homes across the country and all over the world, a story that began more than 2,000 years ago with a tyrant — made practicing the Jewish faith punishable by death. He desecrated the Jewish temple, including the Holy of Holies. But a small band of Jewish patriots rose up, defeated a mighty army, and soon reclaimed their freedom.”
He went on “But the miracle of the Maccabees did not end there. As they prepared to rededicate the temple, they found only enough oil to light the lamp for a single night. Soon, all were stunned to find that for eight days, the lamp continued to burn brightly — a sign of God’s presence in his dwelling place and a symbol of the faith and resilience of the Jewish people. You do have faith and you do have resilience.”
Trump then stated “The miracle of Hanukkah is the miracle of Israel,” speaking of the resilience of the Jewish people, “descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have endured unthinkable persecution and oppression. But no force has ever crushed your spirit, and no evil has ever extinguished your faith. And that is why the Jewish people shine as a light to all nations. And right now I’m thinking about what’s going on and the love that’s all over Israel and all about Jerusalem.”
The president spoke of the deep relations between Israel and the United States, just two days following the historic recognition by President Trump of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. He stated “On behalf of all Americans, I also want to say how grateful I am for Jewish congregations throughout our country. You cherish your families, support your communities, and uplift our beloved country. Hanukkah is a time for Jewish families around the world to celebrate the miracles of the past and promises of the future. We are proud to stand with the people of Israel and to renew our enduring bond.”
He ended, stating “Today, our nation is stronger, and our world is more full of promise- because of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the faith that burns so brightly in your hearts.”
Hanukkah will be celebrated by Jews worldwide beginning on Tuesday.
Amir’s Middle East current events update on President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem and its ramifications.
Eight of 15 member states call for meeting on Jerusalem; Turkey claims international laws violated; Arab world condemns USA decision, claims peace process ruined; Netanyahu reports countries already in talks with Israel for moving their embassies; The Philippines to move embassy to Jerusalem, Czech recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Dec. 7, 2017.
The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday to address the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as countries globally condemn the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Eight of the fifteen-member council, including Bolivia, the UK, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay called for the meeting following Trump’s address Wednesday, with Turkey’s representative to the United Nations accusing Israel of international law violations.
United Nations Secretary General General Antonio Guterres condemned the recognition, stating to the press following Trump’s address Wednesday “I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B. I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations.”
The Arab world immediately condemned Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, Hamas calling for an intifada and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reporting, “the U.S. can no longer function as a diplomatic sponsor and peace mediator.”
Abbas stated on Wednesday night “This is a historical moment and we must act… These condemned and unacceptable measures are a deliberate undermining of all efforts exerted to achieve peace and represent a declaration of the United States’ withdrawal from undertaking the role it has played over the past decades in sponsoring the peace process.”
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag claimed that “Declaring Jerusalem a capital is disregarding history and the truths in the region, it is a big injustice/cruelty, shortsightedness, foolishness/madness, it is plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight. I call on everyone to act logically, respect the agreements they signed and behave reasonably, avoid risking world peace for domestic politics or other reasons.”
Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh claimed “the American decision is a declaration of war, aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,” calling for an intifada on Israel, stating “We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy. He called for Friday (tomorrow) to be “a day of rage and the beginning of a major effort to rise up, which I will name the intifada of Jerusalem and the West Bank’s freedom”.
While many have condemned the recognition, some have not. The Philippines announced it would move its embassy to Jerusalem ahead of Trump’s address Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte announcing the move himself, and shortly after Trump’s speech, the Czech Republic confirmed it recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Prime Minister Netanyahu again addressed Wednesday’s historic event, reporting Thursday Israel is “already holding talks with other countries, who will make a similar recognition”.
Photo: UN Security Council, CC, 2017
PM addresses Wednesday’s historic events to Israel FM, “Israel already holding talks with other countries, who will make a similar recognition, Dec. 7, 2017.
Prime Minister Netanyahu again addressed Wednesday’s historic event, speaking to Israel’s Foreign Ministry Thursday morning. He reported that Israel is “already holding talks with other countries, who will make a similar recognition.”
He started by stating “We were all excited last night to hear President Trump’s historical announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This announcement, obviously, is based on ancient rights. The Jewish people made Jerusalem their capital 3,000 years ago. This is where our forefathers walked, this is where our kings ruled. This is where our prophets prophesied. This is where our roots are buried. This is, in essence, our identity card.”
Speaking specifically on the United States support and Trump’s commitment to Israel, he stated “President Trump has tied himself for eternity to Jerusalem’s history. His name will appear now with the other names connected to the magnificent history of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation. I would like to thank him, and I would like to than the US Congress, who 22 years ago anchored this recognition until the President came and implemented it.”
He added “I would like to take this opportunity to say that we are already holding talks with other countries, who will make a similar recognition. I have no doubt that as soon as the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem, and even before then, many other embassies will also move to Jerusalem. It’s time.”
While many have condemned the recognition, some have not. The Philippines announced it would move its embassy to Jerusalem ahead of Trump’s address Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte announcing the move himself, and shortly after Trump’s speech, the Czech Republic confirmed it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.