Israel kills dozens of Palestinians protesting US Embassy move to Jerusalem
On May 14th, Israel killed more than 55 Palestinians and wounded an estimated 2,700 as the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem. The protest took place as part of the Great March of Return, a weeks-long Palestinian campaign located on the Gaza strip ahead of the 70th Nakba anniversary, which marks the events of 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes.
As Israel launched fire at Palestinian protestors, a high-level U.S. delegation was in celebratory attendance of the U.S. embassy opening ceremony. Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, a keynote speaker of the ceremony, came to represent the president. The embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has bipartisan support from American politicians.
“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”
Senior figures in the Trump administration have not commented on the deadly protests. President Trump shared on Twitter, “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo shared he was “proud to celebrate the opening of the United States Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem” and that the US remains “committed to advancing a lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The murder of dozens of Palestinians has sparked outrage and protests across nations. Both Amnesty International and United Nations human rights experts have accused Israel of violations of international law. The names of the Palestinians killed are here.
Thousands marched in Istanbul, Turkey to denounce “vile massacre” along the Gaza border. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters according to Yahoo, “The United States, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government in this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity.”
Brooklyn based Muslim-Palestinian political organizer and researcher, Raja Abdulhaq stated, “Israel sees Gaza as an obstacle in achieving its Zionist project of eliminating Palestinian claim over the land, through expulsion or mental colonization, and as such it must be eliminated. From a 10-year old siege, three wars, and the killing of more than 50 unarmed Palestinian protesters over ‘border-crossing’ today.”
He continued, “Israel is clearly desperate in undermining the Palestinian narrative that Israel is a settler-colonial project established on the genocide of the Palestinian people.”
Ahmad Abuznaid, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), argued, “What we are seeing in Gaza is the latest iteration of the last 70 + years. They call for ‘peace’ as they drop Palestinian bodies in the streets. 55 Palestinians murdered by Israel just today, while a few miles away Kushner & Netanyahu celebrate. No peace without justice, no reconciliation without the reconstruction of Palestine. No love without first destroying the hate. Zionism must end.”
Noor Fawzy, a Palestinian attorney based in South Florida shared in response to the deadly protests, “People everywhere are grieving at the horrific murder of countless Palestinians in Gaza today. But no Palestinian death is ever in vain. Justice has always been on our side. We will remain steadfast and resilient. Victory is forthcoming. That is a promise.”
Protests have been ongoing.