Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 60 Palestinians in Gaza on Monday—more than doubling the number they have killed over the past six weeks.
Around 40,000 people joined the protest in Gaza, as just miles away Israel celebrated the move of the US embassy to Palestinian city Jerusalem. US president Donald Trump said it was “a great day for Israel”.
A 14 year old boy was among those killed on Monday. The slaughter brings the number killed by Israel since protests began on 30 March to 100. No Israeli has been injured during the weeks of protests.
Alongside the killings, more than 5,000 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli soldiers, who attacked the protests with sniper fire, live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.
The Israeli airforce also boasted of carrying out fresh airstrikes on Gaza on Monday, as well as shelling by an Israeli tank.
The protests on Monday marked the culmination of weeks of planned actions. They demanded an end to the siege of Gaza and the right to return to the land Palestinians were expelled from 70 years ago when the state of Israel was founded.
Some 850,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes in 1948—a process designed to ensure Israel had a clear ethnic majority. Israel’s military has prevented them and their descendants—including the majority of Gaza’s population—from returning ever since.
In a statement the Israeli military blamed the deaths on Palestinians for apparently attempting to exercise their right to return.
It said some Palestinians had tried to break through the border fence that has penned them inside the Gaza Strip for more than ten years. It demonised others for daring to resist the might of the occupying military with nothing more than rocks and petrol bombs.
As the killings continued, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu celebrated the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. He said it was “a great day for peace”.
The move was timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation. It seeks to legitimise Israel’s claim to own Jerusalem—and encouraged the theft of even more Palestinian land through settlement building.
Speaking on Monday, Netanyahu said, “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.
“Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu went on to thank the Israeli soldiers at Gaza’s border.
But the killings sparked outrage across the world. Supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are set to protest in central London shortly after Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.
Some 200 more protested outside the Israeli embassy last Friday. Speaking to the protest, Palestinian Leah Mohammed said, “70 years on the Nakba still affects us as Palestinians.
“How shameful is it that while Israel celebrates its creation, we Palestinians will be remembering its murder, dispossession and theft?”
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