U.S. Opens Embassy in Jerusalem and War Erupts at Gaza Border

Isabella Terzoli, Staff Writer

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A mass attempt by Palestinians to cross the border fence separating Israel from Gaza turned violent, as Israeli soldiers responded with rifle fire. The violence exploded Monday (May 7th), as Israel celebrated the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, a city that is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, and the status of which has long been regarded by America’s biggest allies as an issue best resolved in multilateral peace talks.  

The US officially relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday (May 7th 2018), formally upending decades of American foreign policy in a move that was met with clashes and protests along the Israeli-Gaza border.

By late in the evening, 58 Palestinians, including several teenagers, had been killed and more than 1,350 wounded by gun fire, said the Health Ministry Israel. Israeli soldiers and snipers used barrages of tear gas as well as live gunfire to keep protesters from entering Israeli territory.

REUTERS
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senior White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin applaud during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun – RC1C26ECC760

The U.S. has formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — another step it had long avoided taking. President Donald Trump did not attend the ceremony in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, but in a video message broadcast at the event Trump congratulated Israel saying the opening had been “a long time coming”. As Palestinians’ anger erupted, American and Israeli officials celebrated President Trump’s move of the embassy to Jerusalem.

“I think lots will be having a hard time because of the loved ones they have lost” says 7th grader Esther Aguayo

At the front of the march were leaders of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah movement, including Jibril Rajoub, general secretary of Fatah, and Mr. Saidam, the education minister. Near Gaza City, a voice on a loudspeaker urged the crowd forward: “Get closer! Get closer!”

The charge was led by women dressed in black, waving Palestinian flags and urging others to follow.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for his support on Twitter hours ahead  of the opening ceremony. “What an amazing day! Thank you, @POTUS Trump,” Netanyahu said while retweeting a Twitter post from Trump. The opening of the embassy happened a day after Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, marking what Israelis consider the reunification of the city. Speaking at the ceremony, Netanyahu hailed the alliance between America and Israel as “stronger than ever.”

 

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