At least 52 Palestinians killed by Israeli army at Gaza border - UPDATED-4
Israeli forces killed at least 52 Palestinians along the Gaza border, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The U.S. relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv fulfilled a pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has recognized the holy city as the Israeli capital, but it has fired Palestinian anger and drawn criticism from many foreign governments as a setback to peace efforts.
At the embassy inauguration ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for “having the courage to keep your promises”.
“What a glorious day for Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech. “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”
Trump, in a recorded message, said he remained committed to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He was represented at the ceremony by his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, U.S. envoy to the Middle East.
Kushner said it was possible for both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to gain more than give in any peace deal.
“Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together,” he said in a speech.
As the ceremony took place in Jerusalem, Palestinian protests on the Gaza border quickly turned into bloodshed
Israeli forces killed more than 40 Palestinians and wounded at least 2000 others along the Gaza border on Monday, media reports said, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem (al-Quds), APA reports citing Tasnim News Agency.
According to Palestine Al Yawm television network, at least 43 people were killed on Monday by Israeli forces near the Gaza border as protests intensified on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Over 2000 people were reported wounded.
Israeli forces killed at least 28 Palestinians along the Gaza border on Monday, health officials said, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem, APA reports citing Reuters.
It was the highest Palestinian single-day death toll since a series of protests dubbed the “Great March of Return” began at the border with Israel on March 30 and since a 2014 Gaza war.
The health officials said 900 Palestinians were wounded, about 450 of them by live bullets.
Tens of thousands gathered at the frontier on Monday, some of them approaching Israel’s border fence - a line Israeli leaders vowed Palestinians would not be allowed to breach. Black smoke from tyres set alight by demonstrators rose in the air.
Israeli gunfire killed at least 16 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old and injured at least 500 others along the Gaza border on Monday, Palestinian health officials said, and protesters streamed to the frontier for the climax of a six-week demonstration as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem, APA reported citing Daily Sabah.
Larger crowds were expected to gather later in the day to protest the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. The embassy inauguration was due to occur at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).
Israeli troops killed at least 10 Palestinians along the Gaza border on Monday, health officials said, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem, APA reports citing Reuters.
Protests intensified on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, with loudspeakers on Gaza mosques urging Palestinians to join a “Great March of Return”. Black smoke from tyres burned by demonstrators rose into the air at the border.
“Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell Israel and the world we will not accept being occupied forever,” said Gaza science teacher Ali, who declined to give his last name.
“Many may get martyred today, so many, but the world will hear our message. Occupation must end,” he said.
The Israel Police is preparing for the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with thousands of policemen deployed through the city. At 4:00 P.M. (Israel Time), the official ceremony will take place at the U.S. Consulate in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, which will officially become the U.S. embassy this week, APA reported citing Haaretz.
Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem were urged to turn out en masse to protest the embassy move and take part in Tuesday's 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as Palestinians term Israel’s creation.
In Ramallah and El Bireh, the marches are expected to start at 11 A.M. and proceed to the Qalandiyah Checkpoint near Jerusalem. Marches will also leave from other cities, including Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Jericho.
22 Palestinians have been wounded from live ammunition and shrapnel since protests began Monday. So far, no dead or seriously wounded reported.
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