'Status Quo Minus' in Israel and Palestine

The opening of the embassy, condemned by Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel, further dimmed prospects of what U.S. President Donald Trump had once touted as plans to negotiate the Mideast "deal of the century". Some 1,360 Palestinians were wounded by gunfire, including 130 who were in serious or critical condition, the Gaza Health Ministry told Israeli media.

Numerous dead and wounded in Gaza were hit by sniper-fire, the health ministry said.

Burials are taking place of dozens of people (The Guardian) killed by Israeli forces.

"I am pleased President Trump has chosen to stand for freedom and democracy by moving the embassy - a move I called for over 20 years ago", Inhofe said in a news release.

The plight of Palestinians resonates with many Turks, including with the nationalist and religious voters who form the base of Erdogan's support.

Small numbers of protesters began returning to the border area on Tuesday, with larger crowds expected later.

That is the day Palestinians lament the creation of Israel in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes in violence culminating in war between the newly created Jewish state and its Arab neighbors in 1948.

Palestinian protestors gather along the border fence with Israel on Monday.

After Monday's violence, a range of countries expressed concern over Israel's use of live fire, with some harshly condemning it.

The United States, however, blamed the militant Hamas group that administers Gaza for setting off the protests and blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for an investigation of the Palestinian deaths. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Hamas leadership was responsible for the escalation by "risking all the residents of the Gaza Strip".

It said its aircraft had targeted 11 Hamas sites and tanks fired at "two terror posts belonging to Hamas", accusing the Palestinian Islamist movement of opening fire towards Israeli forces.

Israel denied accusations of using excessive force against the protestors insisting it just protects its border.

Other sources said further protests were likely in the West Bank.

While Israel had a right to defend its borders, she said "the use of live fire and the resultant loss of life is deeply troubling".

It's been a long time since we last heard them demand that Israel be condemned and restrained. Turkey expelled its Israeli ambassador and South Africa withdrew its own envoy to Israel.

Ireland summoned Israel's ambassador to Dublin Zeev Boker.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Jewish state's right to defend its border, but faced a growing global outcry for its use of live fire against the Palestinian protesters.

Earlier, department of worldwide relations and cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said the South African government had taken a decision to recall ambassador Sisa Ngombane from Israel "with immediate effect".

Over 40,000 Palestinians showed up at the border on Monday, said the Israeli military. No Israeli soldier or resident was injured.

Protesters have used the thick smoke as cover against Israeli snipers perched on high sand berms on the other side of the border.

In Jerusalem, top Trump administration officials attended events linked to the inauguration of the embassy later yesterday.

The Arab League that comprises 22 member states has asked the worldwide community to oppose the "unjust decision" by Israel and the US.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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