US embassy in Jerusalem. At least 52 Palestinians have been killed in protests at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel
US embassy in Jerusalem – At least 52 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,000 people wounded in protests at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel on the same day the US fulfils its controversial promise to move its embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem. It is the deadliest day of violence at in Gaza since the 2014 conflict there.
Thousands of demonstrators set fire to tyres on Monday, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air to deter Israeli snipers. The Israeli military said the protests were being used as cover for attacks on soldiers.
It is the deadliest single day of protests in a weeks-long campaign from Hamas in the run up to the US embassy move and the Nakba, or ‘Catastrophe’, on Tuesday – celebrated in Israel as the country’s 70th birthday.
The order given to Israeli soldiers was to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel at any price, including direct live fire. Israel has also warned Hamas that any mass breakthrough will result in airstrikes on the group’s infrastructure inside the Strip – with a number of targets hit by Israeli forces by the afternoon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed Israel’s actions on the Gaza border are self-defence against the enclave’s ruling Hamas group.
„Every country has an obligation to defend its borders,” Mr Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. „The Hamas terrorist organisation declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”