Deadly clashes erupted along the Israeli-Gaza border as Palestinians protested the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Dozens of Palestinians were reported killed Monday as tens of thousands protesters had gathered at the border fence. Large numbers of Palestinians had tried to cross into Israel, The New York Times reported. Palestinians hurled stones, set fire to tires and released flaming kites that set fire to land outside the Nahal Oz kibbutz, according to reports.
In Jerusalem on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was joined by dignitaries including Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and casino mogul/Republican donor Sheldon Adelson in celebrating the opening of the embassy.
President Donald Trump announced in December his decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision was a break from decades of U.S. policy regarding the Middle East and unleashed a new wave of protests from Palestinians who also regard Jerusalem as their capital.
Gaza health officials cited by The Associated Press said 52 Palestinians were reported killed and 1,200 wounded in the bloodiest day since demonstrations along the border fence began March 30.
The embassy opening and Palestinian protests coincided with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled by choice or were evicted during the 1948 war in what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe.