A number of deaths result in commemoration protests to demonstrate the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their homelands to set up the state of Israel. At the same time, the U.S. Administration holds a party celebrating the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem. The move further complicates a disputed territory.
On Monday, after thousands of Palestinian protestors gathered near the wire-fence barrier by the U.S. Embassy that blocks them from the Israel border, Israeli Defense Forces opened fire on the group killing dozens and injuring thousands.
According reports by Al Jazeera, at least 60 are dead and about 12,000 people are wounded during a weeks-long protests to commemorate a campaign by Israel that drove out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land in 1948.
Reports said that Israeli military dropped tear gas in camps where protestors lived during the duration of demonstrations. Adults, children and babies have been killed.
According to Israel, the marches turned into “violent” riots at over a dozen locations along the 40-mile fence. The protests started March 30.
The White House released a statement via Twitter, in support of Israel:
BREAKING: White House says responsibility for Gaza deaths ‘rests squarely with Hamas,’ supports Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 14, 2018
Racep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, declared three days of mourning. On a trip to meet with the British PM, Erdogan said, ”With this latest step, the United States has chosen to be a part of the problem and not the solution and has ceased to be and has lost its role as mediator in the Middle East peace process.”
At the same time protests escalated in chaos and bloodshed, the U.S. and Israel celebrated the opening of the U.S. Embassy’s official relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Ivanka Trump, daughter of the current POTUS, and her husband, Jared Kushner, a fierce supporter of Israel and White House Senior Advisor, attended the event. As well, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) were in attendance.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the U.S. Embassy sends a powerful message that America will stand by our friends and allies, and we will stand up to our enemies. Moreover, it furthers the chances of peace in the Middle East by demonstrating that America’s support for Israel is unconditional and will not be bullied by global media opinion.
A Troubled Region
Last December, Donald Trump made the announcement to move the embassy was opposed in many other nations.
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution calling for the revocation of President Donald Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, while a list of countries expressed disfavor.
For generations, Jerusalem has been a site of contention between three major religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Serving as sacred ground, today, it is disputed territory between Israelis and Palestinians.
Since Trump’s declaration, Palestinians marched in the street to demonstrate Trump’s declaration and Jewish control. Then protests resulted in bloody clashes with Israeli police and military, causing more tensions in an already unstable region of the world.
With the latest protests ending in deaths, Al Jazeera notes that Israeli military forces have killed in total, 100 Palestinians in the protests, marking this the deadliest protest since the 1948 expulsion.
Families are now burying their dead.