News ID: 215077
Published: 0431 GMT May 15, 2018

Palestinians mark Nakba after Gaza massacre

Palestinians mark Nakba after Gaza massacre

Palestinians held Tuesday fresh protests along the Gaza fence, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US Embassy opened in Al-Quds on what was the conflict's bloodiest day in years.

Palestinians on Tuesday marked the Nakba, or "catastrophe", commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

It came a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Al-Quds in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned, AFP reported.

Most of the 60 Gazans killed Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza's Health Ministry said. The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said. At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day since the 2014 Gaza war.

Some funerals were held on Monday, while others took place Tuesday.

In the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas declared a general strike on Tuesday after Israel’s "massacres".

On Monday, tens of thousands gathered near the Gaza fence in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached it and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.

The death toll led to strong condemnation from rights groups and concern from a range of countries.

But the United States, which blamed Hamas, blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats said.

But French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the "violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters" while EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said "we expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life".

Britain's Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt acknowledged "Israel's right to defend its borders" but also said "the large volume of live fire is extremely concerning".

"We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint," he said.

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

Turkey also said it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel "for consultations", while South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel "until further notice".

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

The UN rights office said it seemed any Palestinian protesting in Gaza, regardless of whether they pose an imminent threat, is "liable" to be killed by Israeli forces.

China called for restraint, "especially" from Israel.

Israel occupied the West Bank and Al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed Al-Quds in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see East Al-Quds as the capital of their future state.



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