WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Over 2,700 Palestinian demonstrators were injured, at least half by gunshots, on Monday along the Gaza border.
- The mass protests began seven weeks ago with the latest taking place as the U.S. Embassy was formally transferred to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Israel.
- The U.S. Embassy’s formal opening, which was attended by Ivanka Trump, occurs as violence continues about 40 miles away.
An attempt by Palestinians to cross the Gaza border, dividing Israel from Jerusalem turned violent as Israeli soldiers fired on the demonstrators. The latest on Monday became the bloodiest day since the series of demonstrations started on March 30.
The Gaza protests were participated by tens of thousands of Palestinians. They also demonstrated on the West Bank, protesting about the U.S. embassy move.
According to the Health Ministry, Monday’s protests left 58 Palestinians, including several teenagers, dead and over 1,350 injured by gunfire. Israeli soldiers used tear gas and firearms to control protesters from entering Israeli territory.
The demonstrations coincide with the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem attended by U.S President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin.
Previous U.S. presidents and leaders of most American allies had been unwilling to make the move, stating that “the status of Jerusalem needed to be resolved in a peace agreement with the Palestinians.”
“When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and will remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth,” Kushner said in his speech.
“What a glorious day. Remember this moment! This is history! President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Meanwhile, several speakers at the Gaza demonstration condemned the U.S. and its decision to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem.
“America is the greatest Satan,” said a cleric. “Now we are heading to Jerusalem with millions of martyrs. We may die but Palestine will live.”
“The American administration bears responsibility for all consequences following the implementation of this unjust decision,” Khalil al-Hayya, deputy chief of Hamas in Gaza, said “This crime will not pass.”
According to New York Times, the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem reflects the close alliance that has developed between Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu, which Palestinian leaders say has worsened prospects for peace.
“Today is a day of sadness. It’s a manifestation of the power of America and President Trump in upsetting the Palestinian people and the people who have been awaiting the independence of Palestine for 70 years,” said Sabri Saidam, a Palestinian minister.
Palestinian officials called out for international action against Israel and vowed to continue the demonstrations.
Source: New York Times