Spartan Shield

58 Killed in Gaza protests over U.S embassy

Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Justin English, Staff Contributor

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Just as celebrations occured in Jerusalem following the inauguration of the new U.S. embassy in the contested region, gunshots flew into crowded civilian protesters just miles away.

Israeli forces shot and killed 57 protesters along the Gaza border, and injured more than 2,500 from gunfire. Additionally their use of tear gas resulted in the death of a baby, bringing the total death count up to 58. It was the bloodiest encounter in the over four years since the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and bodes poorly for President Trump’s hope for peace in the region.

Gaza protesters marched the entire day, setting tires ablaze and hurling firebombs and stones towards Israeli troops. The protests were the culmination of weekly demonstrations surrounding the bitterly contested U.S Embassy move.

The outbreak of violence was avoided during the speeches at the embassy inauguration. However, leaders from both Israel and the United States spoke positively about the benefits of the new Israeli embassy. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, was especially glowing in his remarks. “What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history,” he stated. “You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish People, the capital of the Jewish state.”

The Palestinians however, saw the inauguration in a very different light. Furious with the United States, Palestine cut off communication with the U.S. and declared them unfit for mediation.

Turkey also stood behind Palestine and recalled its ambassador from the United States, saying the move “disregarded the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” and would “not serve peace, security and stability in the region.”

The outbreak of violence and the continued hostility in the region appear to have only been exacerbated by the decision to move the embassy. President Trump has promised to make a “deal of the century” to create peace in the Middle East, but so far his actions have yielded the opposite results.

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58 Killed in Gaza protests over U.S embassy