At least 37 Palestinians killed during protest, according to reports 4 years ago

At least 37 Palestinians killed during protest, according to reports

Dozens of Palestinians are confirmed dead as tension mounts over the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

According to the BBC, Palestinian officials have said that there are at least 37 protestors dead, and 1,300 wounded.

Advertisement

President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka is currently in the city with her husband, Jared Kushner, who also advises Trump on Middle-Eastern matters.

Both Palestinians and Israelis see Jerusalem as their capital, and sovereignty over the city is a core source of the tension in the region.

The Israeli Defence Forces have accused the protestors at the Gaza border of "leading a terrorist operation." They are accused of using firebombs and throwing stones. The BBC has reported that the IDF are using snipers.

The United Nations General Assembly does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In its Resolution 63/30 of 2009, it is stated "any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to cease all such illegal and unilateral measures." However, such a resolution is not legally binding.

Advertisement

Donald Trump broke with this policy in 2017 and declared that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and open an embassy there. The opening ceremony happens today (May 14).

The opening coincides with the 70-year anniversary of what the Palestinians call Nakba, which means "catastrophe." As the Israeli state was founded on this date, many Palestinians were forced to flee their homes. The "right to return" for Palestinians whose families were displaced from their homes in 1948 is a key demand of Palestinian negotiators in any peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

For the last few weeks, Palestinians have taken part in a "Great March of Return" — a protest to demand their right to return to their original homeland. 17 Palestinians were killed on March 30, the opening day of protests, but today has seen the highest number of casualties so far.