Israeli forces massacred Palestinians

A group of Palestinians took a wounded protester during clashes with Israeli troops near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Photo/Specialties

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GAZA: Health officials say Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians at a border fence in the Gaza Strip. This number is double the number of Palestinians killed during the six-week demonstration, "Returning to the Land of Birth," and coinciding with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered on the outskirts of the border area fenced off in the morning. Many came to demonstrate peacefully, bringing their children, carrying flags. Food stalls sell snacks and blaring music.

But the rally appears to have a tougher side than the previous weeks. Some young men carry knives and fence cutters. At a gathering place in eastern Gaza City, organizers urged protesters on a loudspeaker to break through the fence, telling them that Israeli soldiers are fleeing from their positions, even as they strengthen themselves.

Israeli snipers are determined not to let any offense happen, and ambulances soon start back and forth from the fence, when gunshots are heard in the crowd. However, no Israeli soldiers were wounded. Israel is also reaping widespread criticism for its excessive use of force.

According to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza more than 2,700 people were injured, including 1,359 wounded by the use of live ammunition.

"The death toll included six children under the age of 18, among them a 15-year-old girl, and a doctor," the ministry said as quoted by the Washington Post on Tuesday (15/05/2018).

At Al-Shifaa's main hospital in Gaza City, medics say they are overwhelmed.

"I do not know how we will manage it," said Ayman al-Sahbani, head of the emergency department, as families crowded in to see the injured relative. "How long can this last? How long?"

The hospital has set up a triage area of ​​30 additional new beds outside, and earlier in the day it says it has the capacity to treat 200 or 300 serious gunshot wounds. The hospital has received about 400 people injured around 6pm, and most of them were shot.

"We have reached a critical point now, many people need immediate surgery, but the operating room is full," he said.

The UN says that those responsible for gross human rights violations must be held accountable. Human Rights Watch described the killing as bloodshed. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the ongoing "massacre" against the Palestinian people. While Turkey and South Africa announced that they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Israel.

A different voice came from the Trump government that blamed Hamas for the incident.

The Trump Administration, however, blames Hamas for losing its life.

"The responsibility for this tragic death lies precisely in Hamas," White House press secretary, Raj Shah, told reporters at a briefing. "Israel has the right to defend itself," he added.

Hamas itself has lent its support to the demonstrations, which awaken the surrounding crowds to protest the loss of Palestinian homes and villages when Israel was formed in 1948.

The Palestinians commemorate that day - known as "nakba" or "catastrophe" - on this day. Plans there will be larger demonstrations. More than two-thirds of Gaza's population comes from refugees who fled at the time of the founding of Israel.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya was summoned to Cairo late Sunday in a concerted effort to persuade the militant group to quell the demonstrations. But according to Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nounou, there was no agreement that took place during the protests.

"They understand our point. Our people show their solidarity with Jerusalem today, and show their anger to the US government, "he said.

The Hamas Interior Ministry said seven of its members were killed, including a civilian defense officer, two internal security staff, and a military intelligence official. While the Ministry of Health said at least 12 journalists were injured.

In a press conference at nightfall, senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayaa, said the protests will continue.

"This blood will continue to boil until the occupation goes forever," he said.

According to the Health Ministry at least 110 Gazans have been killed over the past six weeks. At a demonstration in eastern Gaza, some said the violence carried out by Israel would only bring further unrest.


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