With the opening of America’s new embassy in Jerusalem, the nation of Israel is facing unprecedented protests along its border with Gaza. A few crossed a red line Israel set for security measures – and paid the ultimate price.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian protesters have amassed along the Gaza border, and while most merely marched and burned tires, some of those demonstrators tried to cross the border or even plant bombs targeting civilians and Israeli troops. Those individuals ignored repeated warnings not to approach the wall and fence along the border, or take any aggressive action.
According to the latest numbers, 52 Palestinians have been killed, most by Israeli snipers as they took action against Israeli soldiers or tried to enter the country. In several instances, snipers shot terrorists as they were planting explosive devices along the border, targeting soldiers and civilians.
Israel’s strong border security has made it difficult for militants to enter the country and carry out attacks. There were fears that the large crowd would attempt to breach parts of the border where only a fence was erected, which would trigger a rush of Palestinians into the country that could not be tracked. Israel’s promise to open fire on those who tried has kept the border closed so far.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians had streamed to the coastal enclave’s land border, some approaching the Israeli fence – a line Israeli leaders said Palestinians would not be allowed to breach. Clouds of black smoke from tyres set alight by demonstrators rose in the air.
Demonstrators, some armed with slingshots, hurled stones at the Israeli security forces, who fired volleys of tear gas and intense rounds of gunfire.
“Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell Israel and the world we will not accept being occupied forever,” said Gaza science teacher Ali, who declined to give his last name.
Israeli snipers have killed scores of Palestinians and wounded hundreds more as 35,000 protesters rallied against the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem overseen by Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.
A 14-year-old was among 43 shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 war between the Jewish state and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
At least 1,300 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza officials as the Palestinian government accused Israel of committing a ‘terrible massacre’ and Amnesty International called the bloodshed an ‘abhorrent violation’ of human rights.
This afternoon a White House delegation – including Ivanka Trump and her husband – gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the new embassy alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
President Trump sent a video message to be played at the event, congratulating Israel on its accomplishments and pledging America’s support.
He said the army noticed there were more women at the front of the protest than in past rallies and accused Hamas of paying people to protest.
This morning, the Israeli military said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during mass protests.
The shooting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah came as the army said an Israeli aircraft had bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.
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