The Latest: French president condemns attacks in Israel

JERUSALEM / December 10, 2017 (AP)(STL.NEWS) — The Latest on the fallout from the U.S. decision to declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron “firmly and clearly” condemns all kinds of attacks against Israel in recent hours and days, following a meeting in Paris with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Macron also reaffirmed his “disapproval” of U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Macron said “what’s new is that the United States unilaterally recognized something that is not complying with the international law.”

He appealed for calm in the Middle East and asked Netanyahu to make gestures toward the Palestinians to “give a chance” to peace. Macron said a gesture could be a settlement freeze.

The French president said he wants to wait for a potential U.S. “mediation” in coming weeks and months and would only support an initiative that would be acceptable by Israelis, Palestinians and other parties in the region.

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3:10 p.m.

The Vatican says Pope Francis is praying so that “leaders of nations” commit themselves to work to “avert a new spiral of violence” over Jerusalem and is expressing “sorrow for the clashes in recent days that have produced victims.”

The U.S. administration’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has triggered violence. In a statement Sunday the Holy See recalled Francis’s appeal last week for “wisdom and prudence” to prevail and it reiterated its position asserting “the essential need for respecting the status quo” of Jerusalem.

The Vatican statement says only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can achieve “stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful co-existence of two states within internationally recognized borders.” It calls Jerusalem “a sacred city for Christians, Jews and Muslims from all over the world.”

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3:05 p.m.

Israeli police say that a security guard has been stabbed near Jerusalem’s central bus station.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the guard was seriously wounded Sunday and his attacker arrested. The Magen David Adom medical service says a 30-year-old male suffered a stabbing wound in his upper body.

The incident appeared to be the first attack since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The announcement set off protests and demonstration across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and demonstrations around the world.

In more than two years of intermittent attacks, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that time, mostly attackers

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3 p.m.

Israeli police say that a security guard has been stabbed near Jerusalem’s central bus station.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the guard was seriously wounded Sunday and his attacker arrested. The Magen David Adom medical service says a 30-year-old male suffered a stabbing wound in his upper body.

The incident appeared to be the first attack since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The announcement set off protests and demonstration across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and demonstrations around the world.

In more than two years of intermittent attacks, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that time, mostly attackers.

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2:45 p.m.

Turkey’s president has escalated his vitriol over the U.S decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling Israel a “terror state.”

In a speech Sunday in central Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Israel is a terror state.” He called Israeli forces “terrorists,” referring to a photograph of a blindfolded Palestinian youth being led away by more than a dozen soldiers in the West Bank.

“We won’t leave Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murdering country,” Erdogan said, accusing Israel of having no values other than “occupation and plunder.”

Erdogan said Turkey would continue its diplomatic efforts to reverse President Donald Trump’s announcement, which he calls “null.”

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1:15 p.m.

Lebanese security forces have broken up a protest outside the heavily-guarded U.S. Embassy after demonstrators pelted them with stones.

The protesters gathered early Sunday hundreds of meters (yards) outside the embassy to reject the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After a rowdy start, the protest drew several hundred people and became more peaceful, with demonstrators chanting and singing.

The clashes resumed in the afternoon, with security forces chasing protesters, arresting a handful of them and lobbing tear gas canisters.

Lebanon is home to 450,000 Palestinian refugees, nearly 10 percent of the population.

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11:20 a.m.

Scores of Lebanese and Palestinian demonstrators have clashed with security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Beirut over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The protesters gathered hundreds of meters (yards) away from the embassy on Sunday, where they burned an effigy of Trump, U.S. and Israeli flags, as well as piles of garbage, sending plumes of smoke into the air. As they hurled stones, security forces responded with tear gas and water cannons.

The U.S. decision has ignited protests across the Middle East, where it is widely seen as a blatantly pro-Israel move that threatens the decades-old peace process.

Lebanon is home to 450,000 Palestinian refugees, nearly 10 percent of the population.

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11:15 a.m.

Israel’s prime minister says he is ready to defend President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital against its European critics.

Upon leaving on a diplomatic mission to Paris and Brussels late Saturday, Netanyahu said he “will present Israel’s truth without fear and with head held high.”

Trump’s announcement sparked protests across the region. It also triggered denunciations from around the world, even from close allies like France, that suggested he had needlessly stirred more conflict in an already volatile region.

An international consensus has long held that Jerusalem’s final status should be determined through negotiations. Israel claims the entire city as its unified capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, to be the capital of their future state.

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9:40 a.m.

Israel’s defense minister is calling for a boycott of Arab businesses where residents carried out violent protests against President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Avigdor Lieberman tells Israel’s Army Radio Sunday that the Arabs of Wadi Ara in northern Israel are “not part of us” and Jewish Israelis should no longer visit their villages and buy their products. Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested Saturday along a major highway.  Dozens of masked rioters hurling stones at buses and police vehicles. Three Israeli were wounded and several vehicles were damaged.

The protests were part of a Palestinian “day of rage” following Trump’s announcement that he planned to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Lieberman has long called for Wadi Ara to be incorporated into a future Palestinian state.

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Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (AS)

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