Gaza burns as Israel, US celebrate embassy opening in Jerusalem

Gaza City May 16: Israel is facing a growing backlash and new charges of using excessive force, a day after Israeli troops firing from across a border fence killed 59 Palestinians and wounded more than 2,700 at a mass protest in Gaza.
Just a few miles away from the Gaza-Israel boundary, Israel and the United States held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in contested Jerusalem. Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador, while Ireland and Belgium summoned Israeli envoys. Leading European countries and the UN human rights office called for an investigation of the bloodshed, and the UN Security Council held a moment of silence for the Palestinians killed yesterday as it opened discussions on the Gaza situation.
Israeli troops have claimed lives of at least 60 Palestinians and left more than 2,771 injured on Monday along the Gaza border. Today, Gaza-Israel border was expected to mainly calm, but according to a report in Reuters, an Israeli drone was seen dropping teargas on small crowds gathered at the border. And, according to an AFP report, Palestinians are clashing with Israeli troops in the West Bank.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said that massacre of more than 60 people on the Gaza-Israel border reflects the need for a political solution to the ongoing conflict. During UN chief’s visit to the organization’s European Union headquarters, Guterres said that the way out of the standoff is “a two state solution allowing Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and security together.” He further said it was “a terrible tragedy” and said “this only shows how important it is to have a political solution.
Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call Nakba Day (Day of the Catastrophe), which saw hundreds of thousands flee amid the creation of Israel in 1948 and subsequent displacement of some 700,000 Palestinian refugees.
In light of yesterday’s heinous bloodshed, the Palestinians have declared three days of mourning. Funerals of yesterday’s casualties took place in Gaza today. Tens of thousands of people attended the funerals of those who were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.
Throughout the day, Gaza protesters set tires ablaze, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air, and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border.
It comes a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned. In the bloodiest phase in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war, the death toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the Gaza health ministry said.
According to Gaza’s health ministry, most of the 60 Palestinians who died yesterday along the Gaza strip were mostly shot dead by the Israeli snipers.
The rising number of casualty toll has enticed immense international criticism of Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. China today condemned the border violence in Gaza and urged all parties to exercise restraint on Israel. (courtesy agencies)

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