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» » » » Gazans bury the dead on Nakba day

Monday’s death toll rises to 60; U.S. blocks Kuwait-drafted UN resolution calling for independent probe

Thousands of Gaza residents turned out on Tuesday for the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops a day earlier, while on the Gaza-Israelborder, Israeli forces prepared to face the expected final day of a Palestinian protest campaign.
Monday’s violence on the border, which took place as the United States opened its new Embassy in Jerusalem, was the bloodiest for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza conflict.

8-month-old baby dies

The death toll rose to 60 overnight after an eight-month-old baby died from tear gas that her family said she inhaled at a protest camp on Monday. More than 2,200 Palestinians were also injured by gunfire or tear gas, Palestinian medics said.
Palestinian leaders have called Monday’s events a massacre, and the Israeli tactic of using live fire against the protesters has drawn worldwide concern and condemnation.
Israel has said it is acting in self-defence to defend its borders and communities. Its main ally the United States has backed that stance, with both saying that Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the coastal enclave, instigated the violence.
On Tuesday morning, mourners marched through Gaza, waving Palestinian flags and calling for revenge.
“With souls and blood we redeem you martyrs,” they shouted.
There were fears of further bloodshed as a six-week protest campaign was due to reach its climax. May 15 is traditionally the day Palestinians mark the ”Nakba”, or Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven from their homes in violence culminating in war between the newly created Jewish state and its Arab neighbours in 1948.
A senior Israeli commander said that of the 60 Gazans killed on Monday, 14 were carrying out attacks and 14 others were militants.
The U.S. on Monday blocked a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council statement that would have expressed “outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians” and called for an independent investigation, UN diplomats said.

Turkey asks envoy to go

Meanwhile, Turkey on Tuesday told Israel’s Ambassador to leave the country. Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s response to the Gaza protests and of the U.S. Embassy move, recalling its Ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described Monday’s bloodshed, the deadliest for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza conflict, as genocide and called Israel a terrorist state. The government declared three days of mourning. Government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told Parliament that Turkey held the U.S. equally accountable for Monday’s violence.

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