Uneasy Calm Falls Over Gaza After Scores Killed in Protests

  • Uneasy Calm Falls Over Gaza After Scores Killed in Protests

Uneasy Calm Falls Over Gaza After Scores Killed in Protests

Israeli forces shot and killed at least 55 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,200 during mass protests on Monday along the Gaza border, while just a few miles away, Israel and the USA held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

Kuwait's ambassador to the United Nations, Mansour al-Otaibi, said he planned Wednesday to propose a U.N. Security Council resolution on "protection of the Palestinian civilians".

People cheer as Hamas leader Ismail Haniya speaks to protesters at the border fence with Israel in Gaza City on Tuesday, a day after Israeli soldiers killed 60 Palestinians and wounded an estimated 2,700. Meanwhile, the United States continues to sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel, even as U.S. laws governing arms exports prohibit US-made weapons from being misused on civilians, and US-backed militaries from violating human rights.

The high casualty toll triggered a diplomatic backlash against Israel and new charges of excessive use of force against unarmed protesters.

"The US has selected one of the most sensitive, one of the most hard issues, to step in and put forward a position that it knows will be significantly damaging to its efforts", said Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian pollster and head of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

As the council met Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley laid blame for Monday's violence on the Hamas extremists who rule Gaza and insisted it had nothing to do with the opening of a U.S. embassy in contested Jerusalem, a move that infuriated Palestinians.

At an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. He said the plan does not include peacekeeping forces, but he gave few other details.

While numerous Palestinian protesters on Monday were peaceful, we saw some hurling rocks and burning tires.

Tuesday's meeting came amid growing diplomatic fallout from the violence and the USA embassy move.

Turkey's diplomatic relations with Israel were severed and downgraded after the Mavi Marmara tragedy in which nine Turkish citizens trying to break the Israeli embargo on Gaza were killed by Israeli commandos.

The deaths came after 35,000 protesters gathered at the border of Gaza and Israeli territory Monday to object to the embassy move, continuing the "Great March of Return" demonstrations. Having tried and failed to defeat Israel with rockets and armed cross-border attacks, Hamas this spring deployed a new strategy: assembling thousands of nominal civilians to march on and attempt to breach the border fence, in the calculation that many would be killed.

He strongly condemned the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army, which resulted in the killing of more than 50 Palestinian demonstrators, while many more were injured.

Both UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the Israeli actions.

While Turkey under Erdogan has never completely severed ties with Israel, the Turkish strongman has also never shied away from the strongest criticism. Thousands of people took to the streets on the same day in different parts of the country, while the government declared three days of national mourning.

"Many casualties were caused by Palestinians carrying devices that went off prematurely", he said. "Why are you paralyzed?" Turkey took a leading position in moving the worldwide community for a United Nations vote in which the USA decision was rejected by 128 countries against nine in favor last December. On Tuesday, Israeli officials said two dozen had been identified as militants of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad.