Gaza protests: Fresh violence expected after deadly clashes

09:16 • 15.05.18



Fresh protests against Israel are expected in the Palestinian territories, a day after Israeli troops killed 55 people in Gaza, BBC News reports.


Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, that saw thousands flee amid the creation of Israel in 1948.


Tensions will be particularly high in Gaza where funerals for those killed on Monday are due to take place.


The violence came as the US opened a controversial embassy in Jerusalem.


The move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv has incensed Palestinians, who claim eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.


They see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its indivisible capital.


Palestinian officials said that, as well as those killed, about 2,700 people were injured in Monday's violence. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 war.


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his military was acting in self-defence against Gaza's Islamist rulers, Hamas, who he said wanted to destroy Israel.


The Palestinian Authority's leader condemned a "massacre". The UN spoke of "outrageous human rights
violations".


Palestinians were demonstrating on Monday as they have been for six weeks as part of a protest, orchestrated by Hamas, called the "Great March of Return".


However, Monday's protests - and those planned for Tuesday - are the culmination as they mark the anniversary of Israel's creation in 1948 and commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who subsequently fled their homes or were displaced in the war that followed.


Monday also coincided with the dedication ceremony for the US embassy.


Israel said some 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 tear gas and live fire from snipers.


Mr Netanyahu defended his military, saying: "Every country has an obligation to defend its borders.


"The Hamas terrorist organisation declares its intention to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and our citizens."

 





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