UPDATE: 59 Palestinians were killed, 2,771 were injured on May 14.
On May 14, at least 52 Palestinian protesters were killed and over 2,410 were injured by Israeli forces during the protests around the so-called security fence in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrations took place amid the US embassy inauguration in Jerusalem, which took place on the same day. The Palestinian government described the violence as a “terrible massacre” perpetrated “by the forces of the Israeli occupation”.
Washington’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem triggered a series of massive protests, most recent of which started ahead of the ceremony. US President Donald Trump officially recongized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.
During the embassy inauguration ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for “having the courage to keep your promises”.
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to Trump, represented the US administration at the ceremony and stressed the importance of this move:
“The United States stands with Israel because we believe, we know, that it is the right thing to do.”
Later, Netanyahu explained the Israeli actions against protesters as self-defense against the Hamas movement.
“Every country has an obligation to defend its borders,” Netanyahu stated on Twitter. “The Hamas terrorist organization declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”
President Trump also praised the decision in a statement:
“On December 6th, 2017, at my direction, the United States finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel. Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem.” #USEmbassyJerusalem pic.twitter.com/lne5FB7sB8
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) 14 May 2018
However, US President did not comment on a new round of Palestinian-Israeli tensions caused by his decision.
At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again slammed Israeli leadership for its actinos describing Israel as a “terrorist state”.
According to Hurriyet newspaper, Erdogan adressed to Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to supporters in the province of Adana:
“We [Turkey] are dealing with terrorists. But you are not concerned about terrorists because you are a terror state.”
Stressing the terrorist measures of Israel, Erdogan said that it must be reacted:
“The international community must act fast to end Israel’s rising aggression by fulfilling its responsibilities”.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that it is “negatively for it is a revision of international agreements”
“As for the establishment of the US embassy in Jerusalem, we have many times expressed our negative view of this decision,” Lavrov said. “We are confident that agreements enshrined in the global community’s decisions should be unilaterally revised in such a way.”
The German government expressed sharp concern over the situation in Gaza.
“The right to peaceful protest must also apply in Gaza,” the country’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said. “Israel has the right to defend itself and secure its (border) fence against violent intrusions, but the principle of proportionality applies.”
France has called for “restraint in the use of force” in the area.
“After several weeks of violence and with a growing number of Palestinian victims on the Gaza Strip again today, France again calls on the Israeli authorities to show discernment and restraint in the use of force which should be strictly proportional,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the Israeli governemnt for pursuing a repressive approach to peaceful protests by Palestinians demanding their right to return to their motherland.
Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in world’s largest open air prison. Meanwhile, Trump celebrates move of U.S. illegal embassy and his Arab collaborators move to divert attention. A day of great shame.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) 14 May 2018