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Israel kills dozens of Palestinians, US embassy moves to Jerusalem
May 14, 2018, 5:30 pm

The UN Security Council is expected to meet to investigate the high number of Palestinian casualties in Gaza on Monday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Monday a historic great day of peace in acknowledgement of the US embassy formally opening in Jerusalem as scores of Palestinian protesters were killed and injured in Gaza.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the Israeli military killed 52 Palestinians during demonstrations protesting the inauguration of the embassy in Jerusalem. Another 2,400 were injured it added.

Six children are among the dead, it said.

Israeli security officials estimated the number of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border at 35,000. Netanyahu said Israeli forces were protecting themselves from Hamas militants.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting on the escalating deaths later today.

Egypt, Iran and Turkey immediately condemned the Israeli killing of Palestinian protesters and the embassy move to Jerusalem.

The embassy inauguration comes a week after Israelis celebrated 70 years since the founding of the state. On Tuesday May 15, Palestinians and Arabs commemorate the Nakba, also known as the 1948 Palestinian exodus when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled – or were expelled during – the war with Israel.

Trump’s decision has been condemned by major powers around the world.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Monsay said London is firmly committed to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

“We are concerned by the reports of violence and loss of life in Gaza. We urge calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts,” the spokesperson said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has a negative view of the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Kremlin says regional tensions will escalate in the wake of the move.

In December, Netanyahu hailed US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but this runs contrary to the foreign policies of many on the Middle East.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Trump’s move on Jerusalem destabilized an already “difficult situation” in the Middle East.

“There needs to be a long-term and fair solution that fulfills the interests of both sides, and complies with previous stances of the international community,” Putin told reporters in December.

There are currently no embassies in Jerusalem as the international community considers it a disputed city with its final status only decided by agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

During a UN Security Council meeting in December, 14 of 15 members criticized Trump’s decision leaving US ambassador Nikki Haley having to defend her president’s position.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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