Thousands Attend Funerals of Palestinians Shot by Israeli Soldiers in Gaza

Published May 15th, 2018 - 02:06 GMT
Mourners carry the body of Mohammed Dwedar a 27 year-old Palestinian, killed by Israeli fire along the Gaza border/AFP
Mourners carry the body of Mohammed Dwedar a 27 year-old Palestinian, killed by Israeli fire along the Gaza border/AFP

Thousands began attending funerals Tuesday for the dozens of Palestinians who died in clashes with Israeli forces in Gaza on the same day the United States controversially moved its embassy to Jerusalem.

As activity on the Gaza-Israeli border quieted on Tuesday, more demonstrations -- and possibly more violence -- is expected to resume after some of the funerals.

The funerals will start on the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call Nakba Day -- a mass displacement of Palestinians in the region after Israel's creation in May 1948.

At an emergency meeting, Palestinian Authority President Abbas said a general strike and three days of mourning will start Tuesday.

Palestinian groups say they intend to rein in the protests, but Israel's military said it's preparing for more confrontations at the Gaza border.

Tuesday's funerals follow violence Monday that coincided with mass demonstrations against the new U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem, which included presidential advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and a video message from President Donald Trump.

The Israeli Army said it opened fire on 10,000 "violent protesters," killing at least 60 Palestinians and injuring about 2,700. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his military acted in self-defense against Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israel Defense Forces accused Hamas, which controls Gaza, of "leading a terrorist operation" and inciting protesters.

Tuesday, the United States blocked a U.N. Security Council statement that calls for an "independent and transparent investigation" into Monday's deaths.

The statement, drafted by Kuwait, expressed "outrage and sorrow" and demands all countries comply with a resolution against placing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.



Russia said the situation in Gaza is cause for "deep concern."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noting past concern about the Jerusalem move, said they hope the United States, United Nations and European Union will "refrain from actions that could escalate tensions."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would recall his ambassadors from both Israel and the United States for "consultations" and placed the blame on Monday's "genocide" on Netanyahu and Trump. South Africa also recalled its ambassador.

"We shall continue standing with our Palestinian brothers," he said.

Netanyahu called the Turkish leader "among the greatest supporters of Hamas" and advised him to "not preach about morality."

"Proper, firm and urgent measures are needed to put an end to the ongoing brutal killings of thousands of defenseless people at the hands of the occupying Zionists," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, saying Israel's "crimes" resulted from "unwavering U.S. support."

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement London was "saddened by the loss of life."

"We don't agree with the U.S. decision to move the embassy and we continue to believe that is playing the wrong card at the wrong time."

The United Nations warned people in the region, saying, "anyone is liable to be shot dead or injured: women, children, press, first responders, bystanders."


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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