More Protests As Death Toll In Border Unrest Rises To 59 In Gaza

The loss of life from Monday’s Gaza outskirt dissents rose to 59 as more showings are booked later in the day when Palestinians will honor Nakba Day.

Nakba, or “fiasco,” remembers the in excess of 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were ousted in the 1948 war encompassing Israel’s creation.

It comes a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned.

Most of the 59 Gazans who died Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said.

The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said.

Khaled Batsh, the head of the grass-roots organizing committee of the protests, said Tuesday would be set aside for funerals and a general strike, suggesting that there were no plans for renewed mass protests that day.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Hamas official said that while protests would continue, turnout would likely be low as Gaza residents were busy with funerals.

At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

In the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a general strike on Tuesday after accusing Israel of “massacres”. He had declared three days of mourning on Monday.

On Monday, tens of thousands had gathered near the border in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.

The death toll led to strong condemnation from rights groups and concern from a range of countries.

But the United States blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats at the United Nations said.

Despite the violence, the embassy inauguration went on as planned in Jerusalem, attended by a Washington delegation that included US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters” as several countries urged restraint.

Britain’s minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt acknowledged “Israel’s right to defend its borders” but also said “the large volume of live fire is extremely concerning”.

“We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said “we expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide.”

Turkey also said it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel “for consultations,” while South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel “until further notice”.

At least 113 Palestinians have been killed in a campaign of protests along the Gaza border since March 30, the vast majority by Israeli snipers during clashes.

Only one Israeli soldier has been reported wounded during that time.

Israel has defended its actions, saying troops were defending its border. It also accused Hamas of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests.

The Israeli military said Tuesday that its aircraft had struck 11 “terror targets” in a Hamas military compound a day earlier, and that tanks targeted two Hamas posts. It said protesters used 10 explosive devices and firebombs against troops and that shots were fired at soldiers positioned along the border.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

International consensus has been that the city’s status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *