By Middle East Affairs
A day before the NAKBA which marks the 70th anniversary of Palestinians’ loss of homeland and Israel, protesters gathered around the Israeli-Gaza border in the early morning hours.
Monday ended with a massacre of Palestinian protestors, who showed up to protest the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem and stalled talks of a Palestinian state.
Live gunfire killed 61 Palestinians, while the Palestinian Health Ministry reported more than 2,800 wounded from various causes, including live bullets, rubber-tipped bullets, and tear gas inhalation.
A Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman said that six children under the age of 18 were killed by Israeli forces.
The Ministry of Health reported the names of people killed as Anas Hamdan Qudaih, a 21-year-old from the East of Khan Younis in the South of the Gaza strip; Mosab Abuleila, 29 years old, in the East of Gaza City; Mohammed Abu Sitteh, 29 years old in Beit Hanoun, North of Gaza Strip; Eiz Eldien Nehro, 14 years old in the East of Gaza City; Belal Abu Deqa, 26 years old in the south of Gaza strip; Eiz-Eldien Nahed Al-Iwetti, 23 years old; Obaidah Salem Farhan, 30 years old; Jihad Mufid Abdel Moneim Al-Farra, 30 years old in east of Khan Younis; and Fadi Abu Salah, a disabled person in a wheelchair in the East of Gaza. Salah had previously lost his legs at the hands of Israeli forces.
On Monday afternoon, an Israeli tank fired several shells at a Palestinian checkpoint east of Jabaliya town in the northern Gaza Strip. The shelling caused serious damage to the site without reports of injuries to Palestinian gathered to protest.
The Israeli F-16 warplane targeted at least two rockets at the “Palestine” and the “Khyber” locations in Beit Lahiya, both of which belong to Palestine in the Northern Gaza Strip.
The areas of Israeli attack include Gaza, Khan Younis in the South of the Gaza strip and Rafah.
Monday’s injured included four journalists. Abdullah Al-Shorbagi was hit with a live bullet in the East of Khan Younis; Mohammed al-Dweik was wounded by shrapnel from an explosive bullet fired by Israeli soldiers East of Gaza City; Omar Hamdan was shot by Israeli forces east of Gaza City; and Yasser Qudeih was injured by Israeli live fire in the east of Gaza City.
A child was also shot in the stomach and a man is in critical condition after being shot in the head.
People are gathering in 20 different spots along the Israel-Gaza border. The aggressive tactics of Israeli forces like tear-gassing the camps, however, have not kept protestors away. Protestors want the world to know that Jerusalem is Islamic and Arabic, and cannot be overtaken by Israel and America.
Israeli rained down leaflets in the thousands in the Return Camp warning protesters not to come near the fence or sabotage it in any way. The leaflet called protesters “rioters” and told them not to become tools of Hamas.
The international community has condemned Israel’s use of force.
Half a million Palestinians are expected to demonstrate today, and a million tomorrow are projected to arrive at the border. Some are saying that is half of the population of Palestine, while the rest are children and the elderly. The expected number of protesters is record-breaking, even for Palestinian demonstrations.
In the six weeks of protests, 106 protesters have been killed by Israeli forces according to the Ministry of Health in Palestine. No Israeli casualties have been reported.
The U.S. embassy relocation festivities got off to an early start Monday with an 8:30 A.M. bagel breakfast celebration by the Israeli office of the Orthodox Union and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
On hand for the bagels and the speeches: Trump White House negotiator Jason Greenblatt, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau. Gifts were handed out: U.S. ambassador David Friedman got a mezuzah – presumably, for the new embassy, Mnuchin received a Roman coin.
The event went smoothly until the closing songs of the two countries’ national anthems – the singer of the U.S. anthem, stumbled significantly following “O Say Can You See” – despite the fact that the lyrics were projected on the wall next to him.