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Violence on demonstrators in Gaza is 'unacceptable and inhuman'

16 May 2018

Seven Palestinians were killed and more than 500 were injured on Monday as violence flared at five spots along the border, the Gazan health ministry said. The ministry said that in addition, a 9-month-old girl died from tear gas exposure, but medical officials later cast doubt on that claim, saying the infant had a pre-existing medical condition.

Diplomatic pressure on Israel mounted following its bloodiest confrontation with the Palestinians since a 2014 war, with Turkey expelling the Israeli ambassador and criticism in European capitals spreading even as the violence ebbed.

One of the strongest statements came from United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who condemned the "shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire".

"I am pleased President Trump has chosen to stand for freedom and democracy by moving the embassy - a move I called for over 20 years ago", Inhofe said in a news release.

Israel has defended its actions, and the USA has voiced its support.

Thousands of Palestinians closed in on Israel's border to protest the divisive decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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

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Israel said some 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in "violent riots" at 13 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence.

Turkey said the United States shared responsibility with Israel for a "vile massacre" and that it was recalling its ambassadors from both countries.

The Israeli military said its aircraft had struck 11 "terror targets" in a Hamas military compound a day earlier, and that tanks targeted two Hamas posts.

But the Palestinian delegation in Ottawa called the US embassy move "unilateral and illegal" and Israel's military response to the protests an "immoral act" that relied on "excessive force". Other tactics, including three wars with Israel and attempts at reconciliation with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, have failed. Israel said the protests were aimed at breaching the border and attacking Israeli communities nearby.

The prime minister made the comments after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has "blood on his hands" over the incident. Turkey, not exactly a bastion of human rights, called the killing "a massacre" and called home its ambassadors to the United States and Israel.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu has condemned Israel's use of deadly force on Palestinian civilians and said it is totally unacceptable.

China called for restraint, "especially" from Israel.

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Philadelphia, for the first time in the city's history, raised the Israeli flag over City Hall on the 70th anniversary of Israel's Independence Day.

The military said the protesters threw Molotov cocktails, burned tires, and stones at Israeli soldiers positioned along the fence.

In Jerusalem, top Trump administration officials attended events linked to the inauguration of the embassy later yesterday.

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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

He has argued that it helps make peace possible by taking Jerusalem "off the table", but many have noted he has not announced any concessions in return from Israel. "Today's action ends the decades of ambiguity on US policy in the Middle East and paves the way to a lasting peace".

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Violence on demonstrators in Gaza is 'unacceptable and inhuman'