JK NNI NEWS
Web desk May 15
Gaza City/ Jerusalem, May 14: Israeli soldiers killed at least 43 Palestinians and wounded nearly 800 on Monday during mass protests along the Gaza border, as the United States inaugurated its new embassy in the disputed city of Jerusalem.
The dead included five minors, including a girl. More than 80 among the wounded were in a serious or critical condition.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered near the border in southern Gaza towns of Khan Younis and Rafah to protest the US move and attempted to breach the fence.
Israeli forces used tanks and airpower, fired huge quantities of tear smoke and live ammunition at the Palestinian protestors, blaming ruling militant group Hamas of trying to plant bombs to breach the border fence.
Health ministry officials in Gaza said nearly 800 were wounded during the protests and clashes in Israeli firing, marking the deadliest day since the devastating 2014 cross-border war between Hamas and Israel.
Anger among the Palestinians had been steadily mounting ahead of the US move with near-daily protests along the border fence. On Monday protestors set tyres on fire, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air, and hurled firebombs and stones across the border towards Israel.
The opening of the new US Embassy on Monday and the Palestinian protests are deeply symbolic for both sides.
The US chose the date to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel, while Palestinians mark the day as “nakba”, or catastrophe, denoting uprooting and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of them from their homeland.
Most of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of refugees, whose protest on Monday was christened the “Great March of Return” to lost homes in what is now Israel.
Mohammed Hamami, a 40-year-old civil servant, joined a crowd of hundreds of protesters, along with his mother and five children, according to According to Associated Press.
“Today we are here to send a message to Israel and its allies that we will never give up on our land,” Hamami told AP.
Palestinians have condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to shift the embassy to Jerusalem, the historical and symbolic city Israel captured in the 1967 war.
Palestinians demand eastern half of the city as the capital of a future state separate from Israel.
Following Trump’s decision, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President snapped ties with his administration calling it partisan and unfit to mediate peace talks with Israel.
All other embassies in Israel are maintained in Tel Aviv, awaiting final status of Jerusalem and a future Palestinian state to be settled. Agencies.