Officials Are Reporting More Than 50 Palestinians Killed Near Gaza During Protests

At least 52 Palestinian protesters were killed by the Israeli army today, with 2,400 wounded. The protests occurred near the Gaza border as tens of thousands of people voiced their opinions against the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem, The New York Times reports.

The Israeli army says that they had to open fire to stop Hamas, an Islamist militant group in control of Gaza. According to Israeli officials, Hamas has carried out several protests since March, with today’s protest containing an “unprecedented” level of violence.

Though the Palestinian Authority has called the attack unnecessary and extreme, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus says that those shot were not innocent demonstrators.

“These are masses that are full of hatred and incitement that are launching themselves at the fence,” he told Telegraph UK said, referring to the border fence at Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration celebrated the opening of the US Embassy’s new location in Jerusalem. Ivanka Trump and several American dignitaries were in attendance at the ceremony, with a video played in President Trump’s absence.

In the recorded video, Trump said that his “greatest hope is for peace,” concluding that moving the embassy would promote a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Speakers at the ceremony did not mention the violence occurring in Gaza.

The day’s events coincided with the annual remembrance of Nakba, the Palestinian phrase for the catastrophe — a day when Palestinian residents fled during the 1948 Palestinian war. While many Israelis see the move as the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many Palestinians see it as a bias towards Israel. For those Palestinians, the hope is that eastern Jerusalem would become the capital of a Palestinian state.

As more information develops, several countries and human rights organizations have spoken out against Israel’s decision to attack the protesters. The White House stands by Israel’s decision.