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December 17, 2017

Israel army deploys more troops after Trump Jerusalem move

Israel army deploys more troops after Trump Jerusalem move
'Palestinian demonstrators burn posters of US President Donald Trump in Bethlehem's Manger Square on December 6, 2017 in protest at his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital' - By: AFP Musa AL SHAER

The Israeli military said on Thursday it was deploying hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Upon the conclusion of the general staff's situation assessment, it was decided that a number of battalions will reinforce in the area of (the West Bank), as well as combat intelligence and territorial defence," the military said in a statement.

"In addition, more standby forces were defined, as part of the (military's) readiness to possible developments."

Large numbers of Israeli troops were preparing at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the northern West Bank on Thursday, an AFP correspondent reported.

The deployments come amid uncertainty over the fallout from Trump's speech on Wednesday recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip, called for a new intifada over the announcement, while protests were planned for the West Bank.

Palestinians also held a general strike on Thursday in protest of Trump's move, with schools and shops closed.

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