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Israel ‘Nation of Peace’: Thousands of Palestinian Casualties During US Jerusalem Embassy Opening
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Israel ‘Nation of Peace’: Thousands of Palestinian Casualties During US Jerusalem Embassy Opening

Source: bbc.com

52 Palestinians Killed by Israelis, Over 2238 wounded, over 770 from live gunfire

At least 52 Palestinians have been killed and 2,400 wounded by Israeli troops, Palestinian officials say, on the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war.

Palestinians have been protesting for weeks but deaths soared on the day the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

Palestinians see this as clear US backing for Israeli rule over the whole city, whose eastern part they claim.

But US President Donald Trump hailed the move in a video message.

He told the dedication ceremony that it had been a "long time coming", adding: "Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital but for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious."

The US, he added, remained "committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement".

What happened at the border?

There have been six weeks of protests at the Gaza border, dubbed the "Great March of Return" and led by Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Hamas had always said it would step up the protests before Tuesday, when Palestinians hold their annual commemoration of what they call the Nakba or Catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands fled their homes or were displaced following the foundation of the Israeli state on 14 May 1948.

On Monday, the Israeli military said 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in "violent riots" at 13 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence.

Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices while the Israeli military used snipers, as black smoke poured from burning tyres.

The health ministry, run by Hamas, said children were among those killed.

The Israeli military said it had killed three people trying to plant explosives near the security fence in Rafah. Aircraft and tanks had also targeted military positions belonging to Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, it said.

Israel says the protests are aimed at breaching the border and attacking Israeli communities nearby.

There were also violent clashes between Israeli police and protesters who raised Palestinian flags outside the new embassy. Several protesters were detained.

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