Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Dead, Thousands Wounded As Israeli Forces Fire On Palestinian Protesters

Dead, Thousands Wounded As Israeli Forces Fire On Palestinian Protesters

Dan Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt who now teaches at Princeton University, suggested Trump's administration could regain some credibility among the Palestinians if it were to pledge to open a USA embassy in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital, when a Palestinian state came into being.

Israeli troops fired tear gas at protesters during clashes near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel as the U.S. Embassy's opened in Jerusalem.

"We condemn in the strongest term the atrocity by the Israeli occupying forces using this massive firepower against civilians who have the right to demonstrate peacefully, and they have been demonstrating peacefully", Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters outside the U.N. Security Council chambers in NY.

The United States which was furious at the lack of support from its allies, threatened to cut aid to countries that don't support its positions at the United Nations and in several other global fora.

He said among the Palestinian civilians killed on Monday were eight children under the age of 16.

And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the move "would jeopardize" the chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We made a decision to have the flags lowered tomorrow to half mast for three days of mourning (for the people who were killed at Gaza's protests) and to have a strike tomorrow for the Nakba day".

The German Foreign Ministry stopped short of condemning Israel in a statement released on Monday evening, but urged authorities to stop using live ammunition against peaceful protestors.

"It is the right of any nation to defend its border, but this is a devastating, one-sided, loss of life". However, the principle of proportionality applies.

The last alert issued by the U.S. Embassy in Jordan was in late February - related to demonstrations in the West Bank.

"If he says that, then the U.S. is back in business", he said.

"One can not in such a way, unilaterally, revise the agreements, fixed in decisions [made by] the worldwide community", he said.

The Israel Defense Forces said that it is "operating according to standard operating procedures" and claimed that several protesters were planting explosives.

Dannon described the protests as disgraceful.

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.

The Turkish government has recalled its ambassadors to the US and Israel for "consultations", officials told Fox News Monday.

Peace talks have been stalled since 2014, and Monday was the bloodiest day in the region since then.

A majority of Gaza's 2 million people are descendants of refugees, and the protests have been billed as the "Great March of Return" to long-lost homes in what is now Israel.

In a video, the president called moving the USA embassy out of Tel Aviv "a long time coming".

The embassy move is especially popular amongst evangelical Christians in the US.

In Qatar, foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwah al-Khater strongly condemned "the massacre" of Palestinians. He referred to the Palestinian protests as a "rather cynical exploitation of the situation" and "a gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt".

Now Palestinians and Israelis must show restraint - and the USA must make a new diplomatic push - to prevent even more violence from engulfing the perpetually troubled region in the coming days.

Late past year, American President Donald Trump rejected long-standing USA policy that placed the embassy in Tel Aviv. The statement highlighted that the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people were being "targeted" and worldwide regulations have been "neglected".

After Trump's announcement in December, India had voted with the majority in favour of the United Nations General Assembly resolution rejecting the USA recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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