Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrators in Gaza on Monday, killing dozens and injuring more than 2,400 people protesting the Monday opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.As bodies fell on the border on what became the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 war, US and Israeli officials celebrated the opening of the embassy.
- Gaza’s ministry of health reported 52 people were killed and more than 2,400 were injured during protests at the border between Gaza and Israel. There are six children and one paramedic among the dead, the ministry said.
- United Nations human rights experts urged Israel to halt excessive force against Palestinian protesters and Amnesty International accused Israel of violating international law.
- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) insisted, however, that is was following protocol. The IDF said it killed three “terrorists” and struck five “terrorist targets.”
- Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military was acting in self-defense. “Every country has an obligation to defend its borders,” he wrote on Twitter.
- Senior US officials, including president Donald Trump, have not mentioned the protests in communications celebrating the embassy opening. “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!” the president said on Twitter.
- US secretary of state Mike Pompeo also ignored the deadly protests, while declaring the US was committed to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine.
- Foreign ministries in the UK, France and Egypt expressed concern about the the violence. UK prime minister Theresa May’s spokesperson said: “We urge calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts.”
- Trump did not attend the embassy dedication ceremony, but his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to the president, went in his place. Kushner made a rare public address and said the opening of the embassy was an acknowledgement of the truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.