Al-Quds (GPA) – On May 14, the official date of the US’s and the Israeli entity’s declaration of moving of the U.S. embassy to occupied Jerusalem, Gazan ministry of Health Ashraf Al-Qidri reported 55 Palestinians were killed and over 2771 injured in the span of just a few hours — making the response to Monday’s demonstrations the bloodiest since the protests began weeks ago.
“Today was the bloodiest day since the 2014 war against Gaza. The Israeli sharpshooters were targeting civilians and journalists,” Gazan photojournalist Mohammad Asad wrote in a post on Monday.
Hundreds, including children, were maimed in the legs with snipers and exploding bullets as Israel continued its brutal crackdown against Gazan unarmed protesters.
Among the injured include at least 208 children — with six children 79 women killed. IOF sniper shot one medic dead. Today’s casualties bring the total number of Palestinians killed since March 30 to about 100 with estimates ranging from 80 to as high as 108.
Palestinians Demand Right to Return Home on the 70th Anniversary of al-Nakba: “The Catastrophe”
Israeli forces also shot and tear-gassed crowds of nearly 50,000 demonstrators in 12 locations across Gaza and launched five airstrike attacks. Although the airstrikes produced no confirmed casualties, sources claimed one airstrike hit and destroyed a Gazan tunnel.
Ground footage from local media sources shows the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza today as the U.S. and Israel celebrated the move of the American embassy in Jerusalem.
Lebanon-based resistance news agency Al-Manar reported that Palestinian demonstrators managed to shoot down an Israeli drone in the northern Gaza strip.
Palestinians in the West Bank also turned out to demonstrate and resist the embassy move as well as respond to the brutal and continued crackdown on unarmed protesters. These demonstrations, however, were largely limited besides Monday’s mid-day activities and have taken place without any escalations or confrontations.
Demonstrations in occupied Hebron and Ramallah numbered in the thousands joining hundreds in occupied Jerusalem — many of whom marched to the Qalandiya checkpoint, a key boundary line.
Palestinian demonstrators waged mass peaceful protests in Gaza since March 30th which are expected to culminate on Tuesday. This day officially marks the 70th anniversary of al-Nakba, or the Catastrophe, commemorating May 15, 1948 when over 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced and over 500 villages destroyed as Israeli mercenaries sacked the land and expelled their inhabitants.
As Palestinians were protesting the event, senior adviser and son-in-law to Trump, Jared Kushner, called the resistors “part of the problem,” accusing them of “invoking violence.”
Despite the massacre, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu galvanized the embassy move as a “historic moment.”
Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), condemned the embassy move and the Israeli assault on Gazan protesters, demanding “the world […] to intervene immediately.” Abbas also said that the United States is no longer a mediator in the peace process.
Kuwait has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
Although Egypt did not participate in the Israel-U.S. celebratory event marking the embassy move, authorities in Cairo have reportedly “urged Hamas” to stop encouraging Palestinian protestors. It’s worth mentioning that the demonstrations in Gaza are a broad coalition of Palestinians and many are not affiliated with Hamas.
This is just another event added to the long list of Egypt’s behavior either directly facilitating or encouraging Israeli violence and occupation against Palestinians.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif strongly condemned the blatant violence against peaceful protestors. Zarif Tweeted, “Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in world’s largest open-air prison. Meanwhile, Trump celebrates the move of U.S. illegal embassy and his Arab collaborators move to divert attention. A day of great shame.”
Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya described the Israeli violence “clashes” and implied that Israel is defending themselves from “Hamas threats.” Although Riyadh has recently cozied up to the Israeli entity, their reporting today’s events mirrors that of most other Arab nations: silence.
According to a tweet by Asef Ronel, the head of Haaretz’s foreign news desk, Israeli Occupation reporters were in fact “satisfied” with the PA’s handling of protests in the West Bank today noting the lack of assertiveness occurring during the declared “day of mourning.”
Images courtesy al-Sura.
Julia is a Detroit-based freelance journalist, activist, researcher, and chair of local US Palestine Community Network.