1. People have rallied in two states in Nigeria’s northeast calling for the release of leader of the country’s Islamic Movement Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and his supporters. The protesters in Sokoto and Kastina states also condemned the recent deadly crackdown on Shia Muslims that reportedly left hundreds dead.
2. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad holds a conference in Gaza to support the Palestinian Intifada. Participants called for Muslims’ unity against Israel to end attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and in Jerusalem al-Quds. Participants in the conference also marked the birth anniversary of Islam’s holy Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
3. Over two dozen Palestinian inmates have begun an open-ended hunger strike to protest Israeli violations. A lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said the violations in Etzion jail include physical assault and poor living conditions. Over seven-thousand Palestinians are reportedly in Israeli prisons, many without charge or trial.
4. Reports say hundreds of ISIL militants’ families and some injured terrorists are set to leave terrorist-held areas of southern Damascus under a United Nations-brokered deal. The families and the terrorists will be transferred through a passage provided from the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk to the ISIL’s stronghold in Raqqa.
5. The Syrian army has made fresh gains in the fight against Takfiri militants in Damascus countryside. Military officials say army forces managed to cut a major supply line of the terrorists in that area. Government forces are now getting ready to clear the nearby town of Darya from the terrorists.
6. Three militants from Kurdistan Workers’ Party have been killed in clashes in southeastern Turkey. The PKK members were killed in fighting with special forces in the city of Diyarbakir. Police also clashed with hundreds of mourners during a funeral for two PKK militants killed in another incident.
7. Protesters have rallied in the US city of Chicago to demand resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Demonstrators said Emanuel was complicit in the cover-up of the murder of African American teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. They condemned the year-long delay in bringing murder charges against the officer who fatally shot him.
8. At least one person has been confirmed dead and several wounded in a Christmas Eve shooting in the US. The gunman reportedly fired several shots in a packed mall in Charlotte, in North Carolina. Local media said the gunman was killed after an exchange of fire with the police.