At least 25 Palestinian have been killed and more than 500 others wounded in protests against the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday following President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city as the capital of the State of Israel.
Thousands of demonstrators set fire to tyres and sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air to deter Israeli snipers at several spots, while the Israeli military said the protests were being used as cover for attacks and assaults on the border fence.
Local media reports this is the deadliest single day of protests since the Palestinians began staging weekly border demonstrations on 30 March in an attempt to break an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
The Israeli military told The Independent – UK that over 35,000 protesters are taking part in demonstrations at 12 points along the Gaza border.
The military further clarified that some three of the Palestinians troops shot and killed were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during the mass protests.
In a separate incident, the army said an Israeli aircraft bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, will further fuel tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mikhail Bogdanov described the relocation of the embassy as “short-sighted.”
Mr Bogdanov added that the decision “runs against the stance of most of the international community.”
He blamed the US for “a sharp escalation around Gaza” and said the relocation of the US embassy “could spark large-scale confrontations between Palestinians and the Israelis and cause a rising number of casualties.”
Al Qaeda has released a video addressing the embassy move to Jerusalem, calling on Muslims to renew jihad against the US.
Despite all this, President Donald Trump has called today a “great day for Israel!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2018
Pastor Robert Jeffress, leader of a Dallas-area Baptist church and a spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump, is slated to deliver a blessing at the opening of the relocated embassy at 4pm (2pm BST).
As UG Christian News reported earlier, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December by directing the State Department to begin the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.