Saturday, 20 October, 2018

US opens embassy in Jerusalem

US opens embassy in Jerusalem US opens embassy in Jerusalem
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 06:29

A female Palestinian demonstrator gestures during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City. But the USA leader said the United States "remains committed to a lasting peace agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Palestinian man holding his national flag walks in the smoke billowing from burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Khan Yunis on May 14, 2018.

At least six other children were among the dead on Monday.

Hundreds of people took part in the funeral of Yazan Tubasi, 23, killed east of Gaza City.

Gaza's hospitals are not coping with the victims of Monday's shootings, the United Nations' humanitarian arm says.

"Jane Ferguson, a reporter for PBS Newshour, reported that the protesters are largely unarmed: "[Hamas knows] that as long as these protests are unarmed, they'll be potent and all the more politically useful.

The high toll in Gaza revived worldwide criticism of Israel's use of lethal force against unarmed protesters, while the opening of the embassy, condemned by Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel, further dimmed prospects of what President Donald Trump had once touted as plans to negotiate the Middle East "deal of the century".

The U.S. on Tuesday blocked the adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a probe into the violence that broke out on the Gaza border Monday.

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.

The people of Gaza have become cannon fodder; more will likely die on Tuesday when the protests continue.

Israel said it has the right to protect its border and nearby communities, accusing Gaza's ruling militant group Hamas of carrying out several attacks under the guise of the protests.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also in a statement strongly condemned the unprecedented massacre of Palestinians by Israeli snipers ahead of Nakba Day (the anniversary of the Israeli regime's occupation of Palestinian land) and in protest at the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds. "The United States stands with Israel because we know it is the right thing to do".

"These are 2 million Palestinians that live in the most crowded area in the world", Palestinian-American Anas Amireh said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of "state terror" and "genocide".

In the wake of the deaths, South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations.

In Dublin, Ireland summoned Israel's ambassador to protest.

The New York Times ' use of passive voice to omit facts and avoid mentioning the perpetrators while describing the killings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers during the Gaza demonstrations has led to global outrage.

Earlier that day China called for restraint, "especially" from Israel, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying they were "seriously concerned about the large number of casualties".

The AP news agency reported that some Israeli forces had opened fire from tanks. The soldiers' response, it said, was in accordance with "standard operating procedures".

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that is not recognized internationally, as its "eternal and indivisible capital". The decision fueled unrest across the Middle East and has been condemned by the majority of the worldwide community.

The issue has been so thorny that worldwide negotiators had left the question of Jerusalem to the final stages of any peace deal.

"The establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is the only way for lasting peace and stability", he said.

Worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

Abbas called the new embassy "a U.S. settlement in East Jerusalem".

On the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence, a day of celebration was marked by a day of angry protests.