Palestinian officials said at least 59 Palestinians were killed, including six children, and more than 2,800 Palestinians were injured during their participation in the return marches that began in the Gaza Strip’s separation wall as part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the setback, which coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
“Every country has an obligation to defend its borders, and Hamas has declared its intention to destroy Israel and send thousands to penetrate the border fence to achieve this goal. We will continue to respond firmly to the defense of our sovereignty and our citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the “massacre,” while the United Nations said what was happening “is a flagrant violation of human rights”.
At the opening of the embassy, Palestinians see clear US support for Israel’s control of the entire city, including its eastern section, which the Palestinians affirm is their right to be the capital of their future state.
The opening ceremony was attended by senior US officials, including Ivanka, daughter of President Donald Trump and her husband.
What happened on the border with Gaza?
Palestinians have been participating in mass protests as they have been for the past six weeks in return marches.
Israel said 40,000 Palestinians took part in violent protests in 13 locations near the Gaza Strip’s separation barrier.
Palestinians threw stones while the Israeli army used live bullets, snipers and tear gas as black smoke rose from burning tires.
The Israeli army said 10,000 “violent rioters” had gathered along the security fence and that its forces were operating “in accordance with normal procedures.”
How was the international reaction?
There were very conflicting reactions:
- United States: “Hamas is responsible for the tragic death,” said White House spokesman Raj Shah, adding that Hamas was acting deliberately.
- KUWAIT: A statement by the Security Council calling for an independent investigation into the violence, as it expressed anger and sadness, but the request was rejected because of US
- Germany: “Israel has the right to defend itself, but it must do so appropriately”.
- France: President Emmanuel Macaron condemned the violence used by the Israeli army against protesters.
- Turkey: Said that “Washington is responsible with Israel for the despicable massacre” and withdrew its ambassadors from both countries.
- High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al-Hussein condemned “the shocking killing of dozens and the wounding of hundreds by Israeli“
- South Africa: Summoned its ambassador in Israel condemning “the random and dangerous way of the Israeli attack”.
Why does moving the embassy cause all this controversy?
The status of Jerusalem and the right to rule it is at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the final status of Jerusalem is to be discussed in the final stages of peace talks in accordance with the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Israel considers Jerusalem its “eternal and undivided capital,” while the Palestinians demand that East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, be the capital of their future state.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 war and has completely seized it despite the fact that there is no international recognition of it.
Since then, Israel has built dozens of settlements there, with some 20,000 Jews living there. These settlements are illegal according to international law, although Israel opposes them.
Trump’s declaration last year recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to end decades of US neutrality on the issue, putting the United States in conflict with most of the international community.