After killing at least 58 and injuring around 2700 Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while defending his military has said that they acted in ‘self defence against Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
The killings on Monday coincided with the dedication ceremony for the US embassy. Despite the opposition of the United Nations and breaking it’s own tradition, United States decided to move it’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu defended his military, saying: “Every country has an obligation to defend its borders. The Hamas declares its intention 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 our citizens.”
Israel said some 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in the “violent riots” at 13 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence, the BBC reported.
The demonstrations, which coincided with protests against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, are part of a weeks-long movement calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the areas they were forcibly expelled from in 1948.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 107 Palestinians in the coastal enclave and wounded about 12,000 people.
The protest comes ahead of the annual commemorations of the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948, in a violent campaign that led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages.