Elusive peace grows more remote with US Jerusalem embassy move, violence


Elusive peace grows more remote with US Jerusalem embassy move, violence

Palestinians run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City, May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the USA embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem.

Palestinian Health Ministry officials said 58 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured by live gunfire, tear gas or other means.

Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the government spokesman said on Monday, after Israeli forces killed of dozens of protesters in Gaza.

The protests took place as the United States embassy was formally relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, on the 70th anniversary of the formation of Israel, amid formality and celebration that created an nearly surreal contrast to the violence raging barely 60km away.

In defiance to the global pressure, US President Donald Trump on December 2017 announced that he officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "Thank you President Trump for having the courage to keep your promises", he said. "We are in a day, again, where massacres have been happening while the USA is celebrating with Israel here".

The official also condemned the "criminal and illegitimate" relocation of the USA mission to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Noting that President Trump could not be at the opening of the embassy Monday, Colbert said, "Instead, he sent Peace-Treaty Barbie and Collusion Ken", as a picture of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner filled the screen.

The UN has been investigating Israel's use of force against the Palestinians, of whom more than 60 have been killed since March 30 when the protests started.

The timing of Monday's events was deeply symbolic to Israel and the Palestinians.

Other responses to the violence were stronger.

The 18-member United Nations committee said it was "gravely concerned that numerous persons who died or were injured were reportedly posing no imminent threat at the time they were shot".

Clouds of black smoke from burning tires rose into the air.

Pocan renewed his call for an opening of the Gaza Strip to congressional visitors.

The military said its troops came under fire in some areas, and said protesters tried to break through the border fence.

Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians protested across the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel in solidarity with Gaza and against the official opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, which also took place on Monday, and ahead of Nakba Day, which is on Tuesday.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Most countries say the status of Jerusalem - a sacred city to Jews, Muslims and Christians - should be determined in a final peace settlement, and that moving their embassies now would prejudge any such deal. Instead, it all but dashed hope for a two-state solution.

The killings have drawn global criticism since the series of protests began.

The protest was the culmination of a campaign, led by Hamas and fueled by despair among Gaza's 2 million people, to break the blockade of the territory imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007. He objected when CNN's Brianna Keilar asked if the "Trump Doctrine" explained the embassy move. "The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the global system", wrote Bolivia, China, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Sweden in the letter seen by Reuters.



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