The toll in clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protestors along the Gaza border on Monday over the relocating of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem rose to 52, Reuters reported. The embassy was earlier based in Tel Aviv. Palestine’s health ministry said around 2,400 Palestinians were injured in the clashed.
Protest leaders had urged Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem to join the demonstration against the move and participate in the 70th anniversary of the Nakba or “catastrophe” as Palestinians term the creation of Israel, reported Haaretz.
The protests are part of ‘The Great March of Return’ that began on March 30 and is expected to culminate on May 15, Reuters reported. Palestinian refugees have been demanding the right of return to their homes, which they were forced to flee from during the creation of the state of Israel 70 years ago.
Palestinian officials said this was the highest toll in a single day since the first day of the protest on March 30. Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said the victims included six children.
The Israeli Army said nearly 10,000 were demonstrating at different locations along the border, reported The Times of Israel. Demonstrators were burning tires, hurling rocks and attempting to approach the security fence, the army said. “Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell Israel and the world we will not accept being occupied forever,” a science teacher from Gaza told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Israeli leaders and a United States delegation, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, attended the opening of the embassy, reported The Evening Standard’. United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Israel. “Big day for Israel,” Trump said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “What a moving day for the people of Israel and the State of Israel.” Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s peace convoy, termed it a “historic day”.