Over 50 Palestinians killed as protests turn deadly ahead of US embassy move
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Over 50 Palestinian demonstrators were killed as a fresh wave of protests erupted along the Gaza strip on Monday as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem after relocating it from Tel Aviv.
Gaza health officials said Israeli soldiers had opened fire on the protestors killing at least 50 and injuring over 2,000 others. The Israeli Defense Forces, meanwhile, said at least three armed terrorists were among those killed.
“Moments ago, an IDF patrol foiled a bomb-laying attack by a cell of three armed terrorists near Rafah, close to the border,” the Israeli military said on Monday.
“This is a particularly violent protest point. The troops responded with fire at the terrorists. The terrorists were killed,” it added.
The United Nations voiced its “grave concerns” over the Israeli military’s use of live fire against Palestinian protestors with Monday’s toll increasing the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops to 85 since March 30.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called for an “impartial, independent investigation” into IDF violence which has left dozens killed.
According to the Associated Press, a senior figure in Gaza’s ruling Hamas group said the border protests would continue “until the rights of the Palestinian people are achieved.”
The armed group have controlled Gaza since 2007 and do not recognize the Israeli state.
In January, Washington officially named Ismail Haniyeh, who has been Hamas’ political chief since May 2017, a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”
The US designation followed President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement that America would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing it as Israel’s capital in the process.
Trump’s decision received backlash from many countries who argued it would increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians who have been locked in decades of war and disagreement, particularly regarding the status of the city.
Last week, US embassy road signs were raised in Jerusalem ahead of the official opening of the building which took place on Monday, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948.