Israelis kill 58 Palestinian protesters, over 2,700 wounded, as U.S. opens Jerusalem embassy


NPR reports:

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are protesting the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and Israeli army forces have killed 52 protesters, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry also says some 2,400 people have been hurt in demonstrations and clashes.

More than 35,000 people are protesting along the Gaza border, the Israel Defense Forces say. The army says it killed three protesters who were trying to set a bomb next to the security fence in Rafah. It’s the most deaths in one day the area has seen since the summer of 2014, when more than 2,000 Palestinians died.

The number of casualties rose steadily on Monday, as the opening of the American embassy at 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) neared. The health ministry published a list of the dead, showing that their ages ranged from 14 to 39 years old.

As news of the violence spread, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – who is slated to visit President Trump in Washington on Friday – said he is “particularly worried” about what he called “the high number of people killed,” according to the AP.

The embassy’s controversial opening comes as Israel marks its creation 70 years ago – an event that Palestinians refer to as Nakba – Catastrophe – because that development also turned more than 700,000 Palestinians into refugees.

“A great day for Israel!” President Trump tweeted on Monday. He also told his followers to watch Fox News for coverage of the embassy’s opening.

Discussing the dozens of deaths today, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the rising number “doesn’t indicate anything – just as the number of Nazis who died in the World War doesn’t make Nazism something you can explain or understand. There is one truth.” [Continue reading…]


Chemi Shalev writes:

The more the casualties in Gaza mounted, the more those assembled at the site of the new American embassy in Jerusalem seemed arrogant, detached and mainly devoid of compassion. As more and more reports and tweets came in about the mounting casualties in Gaza’s day of bloodshed, the worst since the 2014 Protective Edge operation, the more the claim that the embassy move could actually help achieve peace seemed both cynical and ridiculous.

The knockout to Israel’s image was built-in in the script. When a modern, sophisticated and armed-to-the-teeth army confronts unarmed masses sporting kites and stones, the propaganda debacle is inevitable. Even the best hasbara points – sorely lacking in this case, except for domestic consumption – cannot contend with so many killed and wounded. [Continue reading…]

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