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US moves embassy to Jerusalem; Gaza erupts in protest, dozens killed

Dozens killed in Gaza as US Embassy opens in Jerusalem. It was the deadliest day there since a devastating 2014 cross-border war: Here are the events as they happened.
(With inputs from agencies)
UAE aid for those injured in Gaza

The UAE has allocated $5 million worth of emergency medicines for Palestinians who were injured during protests in Gaza on Monday.
UAE strongly condemns Israeli aggression

The UAE strongly condemned Israeli escalation against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which led to dozens killed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement in which it voiced its strong condemnation and denunciation of the use of excessive force against unarmed Palestinians who have been exercising their right to demonstrate and demand their legitimate rights.

The ministry warned of the negative consequences of such dangerous escalation.
‘The UAE refuses categorically the use of force in the face of peaceful marches by Palestinians that marked the 70th anniversary of Nakba, demanding their just rights,” the statement said.
The statement called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to stop violence and protect the Palestinian people, and reaffirmed the UAE’s unchanged position towards the Palestine question and its support for Palestinian brethren to regain legitimate rights in accordance with international laws and the Arab Peace initiative.
11.30pm
55 protesters killed

The death toll has gone up to 55 as Israeli troops killed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border as the US opened its embassy to Israel in occupied Jerusalem, in the worst single day of violence there since a 2014 war.
7.35pm
Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemns US Embassy move

The world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations says it “strongly rejects and condemns” the White House’s “deplorable action” to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation said it considers the US move an “illegal decision” and “an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people.” The organization said the move Monday also represents “an affront to international peace and security.”
7.30pm
World leaders warn US Jerusalem move fans Mideast tension

Both friends and foes of the United States voiced criticism Monday as Washington opened its embassy in the disputed city of Jerusalem, saying the move would fan Middle East tensions.
Chief US ally Britain reiterated its stated objection to the move.
The ceremony in Jerusalem, where Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner officiated, came after Israeli troops put down protests over the move by Palestinians at the Gaza border with Israel, killing dozens of civilians.
“We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said.
“The British embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.”
Under the 1993 Oslo peace accords shepherded by then US president Bill Clinton, the status of Jerusalem, including whether East Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state, was to be agreed in future negotiations.
The British statement added that London has “no plans” to move its mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is holy to three of the world’s major religions.
France also spoke out against the US move, saying along with many other critics that it violated “unambiguous” international law and UN Security Council resolutions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s objection to the move, saying: “We firmly believe that it is inappropriate to unilaterally revise the decisions of the international community in this way.”
Lavrov, speaking in Moscow after meeting the Russian defence minister and the pair’s Egyptian counterparts, recalled that Russia “has several times offered a platform” for talks on the status of Jerusalem.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI wrote in a letter to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he was “monitoring with concern” the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the MAP news agency reported.
Like Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, the Moroccan king denounced Washington’s “unilateral decision”.
The Egyptian foreign ministry, in a statement expressing “strong denunciation” of Israel’s use of force against Palestinian civilians, said Cairo “totally supports the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and first and foremost its right to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
6.11pm
Israel’s air force hit a Hamas base

Palestinians look at smoke billowing from the site of an Israeli air strike on a Hamas’ military site in Beit Lahia. -AFP
Israel’s air force hit a Hamas base in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the military said, as bloody clashes raged along the strip’s border with Israel.
5.45pm
52 Palestinians killed

Palestinians carry an injured man. -AFP
Israeli forces shot dead 52 Palestinians as tens of thousands converged on Gaza’s border in the worst single day of violence there since a 2014 war, casting a pall over President Donald Trump’s contentious inauguration of a US embassy in Jerusalem.
5.40pm
Trump’s statement

A demonstrator scuffles with Israeli police outside the new US embassy as the ceremony to inaugurate the United States’ controversial embassy in Jerusalem began. -AFP
Trump, in recorded message at US embassy opening: “United States remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement.”
5.32pm
General strike

PLO announces general strike in Palestinian territories on Tuesday to “mourn the martydom” in Gaza.
5.10pm
Egypt condemns

Egypt condemns Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, warns of negative repercussions: foreign ministry
4.40pm
Death toll rises to 37

Palestinian demonstrators run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops. -REUTERS
Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire rises to 37.
4.12pm
Death toll rises to 28

Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire rises to 28.
3.07pm
Israeli fire kills 16

Gaza health ministry says number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire today near the Gaza border has risen to 16
2.49pm
Death toll goes up to 10

Ten Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border Monday, the Gazan health ministry said.
They were shot dead by Israeli forces, the ministry said, as violent clashes broke out in five spots along the border in protest at the embassy move.
More than 500 were injured, the ministry added. One of the dead was 14 years old, it said.
2.35pm
Seven dead, 500 injured

A man checks bodies of Palestinians, who were killed during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, at a hospital morgue in the northern Gaza Strip. -REUTERS
Seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border on Monday, the Gazan health ministry said. Mass protests and clashes continue against the transfer of the US embassy to Occupied Jerusalem.
More than 500 were injured, the ministry added.
1.55pm
Two Palestinians killed

A second Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire along the Gaza border Monday, the Gazan health ministry said.
Musaab Abu Leila, 29, was shot dead east of Jabalia in northern Gaza, the ministry said, shortly after a 21-year-old was killed in the south of the strip.
Thousands gathered in five spots along the border in protest at the embassy move, while sporadic clashes also erupted with Israeli soldiers.
1.26pm
Palestinian man killed in Israeli fire

Gaza’s Health Ministry says a 21-year-old Palestinian has been killed in the area of protests near the Israel border .
Anas Qudeih was shot dead east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, according to the ministry.
The death of the 21-year-old raises to 46 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire since the protests began on March 30.
Toll goes up

12.40
Israeli gunfire wounded at least 28 Palestinians along the Gaza border so far, according to medics.
12.11pm
12 wounded in clashes

Clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel between Palestinians and Israeli forces ahead of the controversial inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, AFP journalists reported.
Gaza’s health ministry said 12 Palestinians were wounded. Several thousand had gathered near the border, while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians were approaching the fence, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.
12.00
Arab League to hold meeting

Arab League will hold extraordinary meeting on Wednesday over US illegal move of embassy opening in Occupied Jerusalem.
11 am
Protesters injured in firing

Israeli troops firing from across a border fence have wounded two Palestinians as a protest near the Israeli wall  gets underway.
Israel’s military says it will stop a possible breach of the wall at all costs, warning protesters that they are endangering their lives.
Near Gaza City, hundreds gathered about 150 meters from the wall. A reporter witnessed two people being shot in the legs.
10.20am
Drones set fire to tyres

Witnesses say Israeli drones have dropped incendiary materials, setting ablaze tires that had been collected for use in a planned Gaza border protest.
They say the drones set tires ablaze in two locations early Monday, releasing large clouds of black smoke.
Israel has warned Gaza residents they will be risking their lives if they approach the border during a planned mass protest. The army says in the leaflets dropped by jets Monday that it will “act against every attempt to damage the security fence or harm IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians.”
Tens of thousands are expected to join Monday’s march, suggesting a possible border breach. The march is part of a campaign to break Gaza’s decade-old border blockade. It’s also a protest against the inauguration Monday of a US Embassy in Occupied Jerusalem.
There has been concern about large numbers of casualties Monday.
9.50am
Palestinian government comment on the day

A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sharply criticised US President Donald Trump over his decision to open the US Embassy in Occupied Jerusalem, saying the American administration is “based on lies.”
Saeb Erekat told the Voice of Palestine radio Monday that Trump violated a promise to hold off on moving the embassy to give peace talks a chance. Erekat says Washington “is no longer a partner.”

In December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, infuriating Palestinians who seek the Israeli-annexed eastern sector as a capital. The US Embassy in Jerusalem opens Monday.
Erekat says the Trump administration has “become part of the problem.” He suggested Trump’s Mideast team is unqualified, saying “the world needs real leaders, and those (White House officials) are real estate dealers, not leaders.”
Our In-depth report of the event:
Flagrant and hostile act by America’

By Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor
Palestinians seek occupied east Jerusalem as capital of future state, and view relocation of US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city as violation of international law
Dubai: The United States moves its embassy in Israel to occupied Jerusalem on Monday (May 14) in defiance of the Palestinians and most of the world — and likely further heightening tensions at a time of tumult in the region.
US President Donald Trump is set to make good on his pledge in December when he broke with decades of precedent and recognised the disputed city as Israel’s capital amid global outcry.
Also read: Trump dared, so what are we going to do?

The Israeli regime is preparing a series of festivities, including a gala reception for the embassy dedication that will include members of a delegation led by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Also read:
• Let Jerusalem belong to all humanity
• Interactive: Jerusalem, a city under siege
Dozens of foreign diplomats are expected, though many ambassadors of European nations who oppose the move will skip it.
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania have reportedly blocked a joint EU statement on the issue.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised internationally. The Palestinians want occupied east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city as a blatantly one-sided move that invalidates the US as a peace broker.

A woman walks past a flower bed in the shape of a US flag and a sign welcoming the move of the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem, near the location of the new US embassy in occupied Jerusalem, on Sunday. Reuters
The Palestinians, political analysts say, are left with limited options to respond, yet they can be powerful options that would cause “perpetual headache” to the superpower.
The initial phase of the relocation will involve US ambassador David Friedman, and a small group of the staffers. The full relocation might take several years until the new building is constructed.
This [the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city] is the most flagrant and hostile act by the United States against the Palestinians since the beginning of the [Israeli] occupation.”

– Yasser Abd Rabbo | PLO Executive Committee member

“This is the most flagrant and hostile act by the United States against the Palestinians since the beginning of the [Israeli] occupation,” Yasser Abd Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee and former minister of information, told Gulf News.
He was among the very few Palestinian politicians who were involved in secret talks that led to the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993. Later, he participated in all the negotiations on implementing the accords.
“This is a violation of international law, and it makes the US complicit and a participant in violating international law along with Israel,” said Mustafa Barghouti, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, known as Mubadara, and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Barghouti told Gulf News the US recognition of occupied Jerusalem eliminated any possibility for the US to be a fair arbiter in any peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.
Trump’s decision marked the end of decades of US foreign policy, which stipulated that the final status of the city be determined in the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis themselves.
After the US announcement, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 against the move, declaring Trump’s decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”.
“This [the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city] is a violation of international law, and it makes the US complicit and a participant in violating international law along with Israel.”

– Mustafa Barghouti | Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council

Israel occupied and annexed both the eastern and western parts of the city and proclaimed it as its “eternal and unified” capital in 1980. No country recognised the move, until Trump’s announcement last year.
Trump is not attending the opening of the embassy.
Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called on foreign leaders to boycott the embassy’s opening, “lest they lend legitimacy to an illegal decision and to continuous Israeli policies of occupation, colonisation and annexation,” according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The ceremony comes a day before the Palestinians mark the 70th anniversary of their Nakba or catastrophe, when Israel took over their homelands in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Commenting on the options the Palestinians have, Abd Rabbo called for the implementation of the 1980 Arab summit resolution, which sought the suspension of commercial and political ties with countries that move their embassies to occupied Jerusalem or acknowledge the city as the capital of Israel.
Also, “the Palestinian response should come through working on achieving real internal unity,” said Abd Rabbo.
There are deep divisions between the main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, ruling in West Bank and Gaza Strip, respectively, which are hurting the Palestinian cause.
“Palestinians’ options are limited, yet can be very effective if properly used,” commented Khalil Shaheen, director of research and policies, and board member at Masarat, the Palestine Centre for Policy Research and Strategic Studies in Ramallah.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaheen said, “The Palestinians can have a veto, which is no less important than the one the US exercises at the UN Security Council, on any political process Trump tries to launch — either between the Palestinians and Israelis or at a regional level.”
The Palestinians can also escalate popular civilian resistance against the occupation, which can drain the Israelis, like the ‘March of Return’ that has been going on for the past few weeks in Gaza, Shaheen said.
Another option would be to accelerate the issue at the International Criminal Court, including colony-building, which “for sure will criminalise Israeli officials”, he said.
“The Palestinians can ask for the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the US announcement on occupied east Jerusalem, and how it violates international law and UN Security Council resolutions. In other words, the Palestinians can formulate their political moves and cause a permanent headache to the US, and show [how isolated the US is in the position it has taken],” Shaheen said.
However, he added, “the Palestinian moves [at present] are not up to the desired level, because the leadership is still betting on returning to the negotiations table … Whoever bets on going back to the negotiations table will find it difficult to seek confrontation options at both diplomatic level, and on the ground. The Palestinian position is lame.”
The Palestinian leadership needs to change its policies and “get the attention of the world by showing its seriousness. It should tell the world, if you don’t pressure the US and Israel, an explosion is coming and this will affect the entire region,” Shaheen said.
Source: Gulf News

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