Heavy clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli army erupted on Thursday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, a day after the president of the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Images taken by an epa photojournalist on the ground showed Palestinian demonstrators throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, who were firing tear gas and attempting to disperse the crowds.

The Palestinian National Authority called a general strike to protest Donald Trump's recognition that Israel's capital city is Jerusalem.

Washington's declaration unleashed a barrage of criticism from Arab and European leaders, many of whom expressed fears that it could plunge the region into further violence.

Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of their future state.

No nation that maintains diplomatic relations with Israel has moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and under the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, the city's final status is yet to be settled by negotiations.