Israeli troops have killed 55 Palestinians and wounded nearly 3,000 in what’s been termed as the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since the 2014 war.
Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said the dead included six children too.
The United Nations have condemned the violence calling it “outrageous human rights violations.” The Palestinian Authority’s leader too has termed it a “massacre.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has three days of mourning. He said, “We hear that they opened an embassy today. It is a settlement, not an embassy. A US settlement in East Jerusalem.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu defended the brutalities committed by his military saying that it was acting in self-defence against Gaza’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, who he said wanted to destroy Israel. The brutal action by the Israeli army came as the US opened its controversial embassy in Jerusalem. The controversial decision by the Donald Trump administration angered Palestinians, who claim eastern Jerusalem as the capital of their future Palestinian state.
Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that is not recognised internationally, as its “eternal and indivisible capital.”
Most countries say the status of Jerusalem – a sacred city to Jews, Muslims and Christians – should be determined in a final peace settlement and that moving their embassies now would prejudge any such deal.
A report by the BBC said that more protests were planned for Tuesday adding that these were the culmination, as they mark the anniversary of Israel’s creation in 1948 and what Palestinians term the Nakba or Catastrophe. This has been in reference to the hundreds of thousands of those Palestinians, who were subsequently forced to flee their homes or were displaced in the war that followed.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally. According to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace deal, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It effectively annexed the sector, though this was not recognised by any countries until Trump’s announcement in December 2017.