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Israel-Palestine: Tens of Thousands Attend Funerals for 60 Gazans Killed in Border Protests | LIVE UPDATES

Tuesday 15 May 2018, by siawi3


May 15, 2018.
Sivan 1, 5778

Tens of Thousands Attend Funerals for 60 Gazans Killed in Border Protests


Photo: Tear gas is fired at protestors during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018
Tear gas is fired at protestors during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018THOMAS COEX/AFP

U.S. blocks Security Council statement calling for investigation into Gaza violence
A predictable bloodbath in Gaza: Israel did not lift a finger to prevent lethal clashes
Dozens of Palestinian deaths in Gaza didn’t disturb Netanyahu’s ’great day for peace’ in Jerusalem

Hamas conveyed indirect messages to Israel on Monday night that it might change tack in the Gaza border protests Tuesday, but Israel isn’t certain whether the group really aims to rein in the violent demonstrations which claimed the lives of 60 Palestinians by live Israeli gunfire Monday.

Funerals of Monday’s casualties are expected to take place in Gaza on Tuesday, with the question remaining whether Hamas will call the masses to the fence as it did Monday, or keep the rallies as a spontaneous initiative of the people. Rallies are expected in the large West Bank cities, as well as a general strike.

It was decided during last night’s Palestinian leadership meeting to transfer the Israeli settlements case to the international court, as well as to call for an emergency session of the UN Security Council and ask for international protection for the Palestinian people.

Click here for the live roundup of day one.

Latest updates:

2:05 P.M. How the world media covered Israel and the deadliest day of the Gaza protests

The protests along the Gaza border, in which 60 Palestinians were killedby live gunfire and over 1,359 were wounded, took center stage in the world media on Tuesday, as outlets reported extensively on the violent events juxtaposed with the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

See: Diplomatic fallout from deadly Gaza clashes here

1:58 P.M. Netanyahu slams Erdogan over Gaza criticism: ’Don’t preach about morality’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday after his criticism over Monday’s clashes. “Erdogan is among the greatest supporters of Hamas and undoubtedly understands terror and massacre. I advise him not to preach about morality.” (Noa Landau)

1:41 P.M. Palestinian wounded from live gunfire in West Bank during clashes with Israeli army

A Palestinian was wounded from live gunfire on Tuesday during clashes with Israeli security forces in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. The man was evacuated to the governmental hospital in Ramallah in moderate condition. (Jack Khoury)

1:34 P.M. Funerals commence as thousands march along the Gaza Strip

The funerals of the 60 Palestinians killed in the border protests on Monday have commenced on Tuesday, as tens thousands are marching in processions across the Strip.

Reports have also come in of Palestinians torching tires east of Jabaliya. (Jack Khoury, Almog Ben Zikri)

1:14 P.M. Two Palestinians moderately wounded from live gunfire in West Bank

Two Palestinians were moderately wounded from live gunfire when clashes erupted in the West Bank city of Hebron. One suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach, while the other was shot in the shoulder. Both were evacuated to the governmental hospital in Hebron in moderate condition.

Confrontations were also reported near the Beit El security barrier near the town of El Bireh. (Jack Khoury)

12:33 P.M. The day Donald Trump was crownd king in Jerusalem | Opinion

For Jews around the world, the opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem should have been an occasion for jubilation and pride. And while for some it was, many of the rest of us watched the ceremony feeling a combination of nausea and cognitive dissonance. (Debra Shushan)

12:26 P.M. Israel needs to directly threaten lives of Hamas chiefs, stresses Public Defense Minister

Israel needs to directly threaten the lives of the Hamas chiefs which are causing the bloodshed, said Public Defense Minister Gilad Erdan on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Israeli news website Ynet, Erdan stressed he speaks solely for himself, and that it is his position Israel should return to its former policy of preempting Hamas’ aggression by assassinating its leaders. According to Erdan, they are the ones causing the grievous harm to Israel and the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)

12:19 P.M. Kremlin is ’very concerned’ by Gaza deaths, monitoring situation closely

The Kremlin on Tuesday urged countries, especially those in the Middle East quartet of mediators, to avoid action that might inflame tensions in the region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Moscow was very concerned by the deaths of dozens of Palestinians and said the Kremlin was closely monitoring the situation. (Reuters)

12:15 P.M. Muslim countries should examine their ties with Israel, says Turkish Prime Minister

Muslim countries should review their ties with Israel, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday, a day after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border.

Turkey has called for a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday. It has been one of the most vocal critics of the violence in Gaza, as well as the U.S. move to open its embassy in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

11:59 A.M. Ireland summons Israeli ambassador over Gaza deaths

The Irish government summoned the Israeli ambassador in Dublin, Zeev Boker, to express its shock and dismay over Monday’s events, the Irish Times reported. Boker was also informed of Ireland’s demand for an independent UN investigation of the deaths in Gaza.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeperson confirmed Boker was summoned for a brief conversation and refused to divulge its contents. (Noa Landau)

11:30 A.M. General strike declared in East Jerusalem

A general strike in the commerce and educational systems was declared Tuesday in East Jerusalem in protest of the killing of Gazans during Monday’s border confrontations. (Nir Hasson)

11:24 A.M. Stop the bloodbath | Haaretz Editorial

The black smoke that rose above Gaza yesterday and the number of casualties that climbed by the hour did not interfere with the celebratory opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, highlighting the wanton Israeli treatment of Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular.

11:20 A.M. Six must-reads on deadly Gaza protests and U.S. Embassy’s Jerusalem move (Haaretz)

11:05 A.M. Gaza death toll rises to 60

A Palestinian succumbed to his wounds after being shot during clashes east of Gaza on Monday, the Gaza Health Ministry reports. (Jack Khoury)

10:38 A.M. Israeli army confirms rocket sirens as false alarm (Haaretz)

10:26 A.M. Rocket alarm sirens sound in Gaza border communities in southern Israel

Rocket alarm sirens were heard in Eshkol Regional Council, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The army is looking into the matter, though local residents did not report hearing explosions. (Yaniv Kubovich and Almog Ben Zikri)

10:19 A.M. Israeli Justice Minister: we’re not afraid of The Hague Court

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Israel is not afraid of the International Justice Court in Hague because it operates by international law. Speaking on Israeli radio, Shaked said “Israel Defense Forces are acting very very well, acting by the open-fire protocols and it is all within the boundaries of judiciary and law.”

Regarding the condition of the Gaza Strip, shaked said that if Israel doesn’t want a terrorist organization to control it anymore, “there’s no escape but to occupy. I’m not saying this is what should be done today.” (Haaretz)

10:02 A.M. It’s not a ’Hamas March’ in Gaza. It’s tens of thousands willing to die | Analysis

Everyone in the Gaza Strip knows the hospitals are way over capacity and that the medical teams are unable to treat all the wounded. Al Mezan reported on a medical delegation that was supposed to arrive from the West Bank but was prevented from entering by Israel.

Everyone knows that wounded people who were operated on are being discharged too soon and that there’s a shortage of essential drugs for the wounded, including antibiotics. Even when there are drugs, many of the wounded cannot pay even the minimum required to obtain them, and so they return a few days later to the doctor with an infection. This is all based on reports from international medical sources. (Amira Hass)

9:52 A.M. South African embassy sends official statement recalling ambassador

The South African embassy sent an official statement to the Israeli Foreign Ministry notifying of its ambassador leaving Israel. The statement said that “until the ambassador’s return” he would be replaced by the embassy’s consultant.

South Africa said Monday that due to the death toll in Gaza, the country would be recalling its ambassador to Israel. (Noa Landau)

9:42 A.M. Dozens dead in Gaza didn’t disturb Netanyahu’s ’great day for peace’ | Analysis

Of all the grand and sometimes divorced-from-reality remarks made at the ceremony inaugurating the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the most blatant was the emotional statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “It’s a great day for peace.â€

Because alas, peace at the time looked a lot more like a bloodbath taking place on the Gaza border, the number of dead and wounded rising at a dizzying pace, than like an elegant event in the rejected Israeli capital whose honor was restored, if only in part. (Yossi Verter)

9:15 A.M. Hamas reportedly dismantles tents along Gaza border as Israel prepares for funeral rage

Hamas is dismantling the tent compound along the border fence and calling civilians not to protest on Tuesday, according to Palestinian reports. The Israeli army assumes this is because the organization achieved its goal by having the high number of casualties on Monday bring the Strip back into the international discourse.

The Israeli army is bracing for the large numbers expected to march on the fence following the funerals, as well as massive rallies expected in the West Bank in solidarity. (Yaniv Kubovich)

9:04 A.M. Former CIA chief blasts ’utter diregard’ for Palestinian lives

Former CIA chief John O. Brennan condemned President Donlad Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for their “utter disregard” for Palestinian rights and homeland on Tuesday, saying Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy destoryed its peacemaker role.

Brennan, who acted as CIA chief under Barack Obama, said “new generation of Israelis/Palestinians need to isolate extremists to find path to peace.” (Haaretz)

8:10 A.M. Israeli army deploying forces in Gaza border communities

The Israeli army is deploying soldiers inside communities along the Gaza Envelope as part of the regional defense scheme. (Almog Ben Zikri)

07:59 A.M. Members of Congress condemn ’shocking’ Gaza death toll

Five members of the U.S. Congress condemned Israel’s use of live fire against unarmed protesters in a statement released Monday overnight.

Signed by Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, Henry C. Johnson Jr. and Raul Grijalva, the statement said they were “shocked and dismayed by the lethal force used by Israeli troops against mostly unarmed protesters” at the Gaza border, and urged soldiers to abide by international law and refrain from live gunfire.

The statement commended Israeli human rights groups and civil society leaders for doing the same. It held President Trump’s “provocative decision” to relocate the U.S. embassy reponsible for emboldening Israeli reactions to the protesters, saying it culminated “in some of the highest levels of violence experienced in the area in weeks.”

“We ask that Netanyahu’s government show utmost restraint,” concluded the statement, “allow for unfettered medical attention for those who have been wounded, and ease a 12-year blockade on Gaza, which has contributed to grave food insecurity, unemployment and a humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s two million inhabitants. We believe the people of Gaza must be shown compassion and relief, and we remain steadfastly committed to ensuring Israel’s security.” (Noa Landau)

7:55 A.M. 8-month-old baby dies from gas inhalation

An 8-month-old infant, Laila al-Ghandour, died from gas inhalation in the eastern Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Her death raises the protest death toll from Monday to 59. No further details were given. (Jack Khoury)

6:37 A.M. U.S. blocks Security Council statement calling for investigation into Gaza violence

The Trump administration on Monday blocked a UN Security Council statement that was intended to call for an investigation of the events on the Israel-Gaza border.

The statement, circulated by Kuwait, was supposed to include an expression of rage and sorrow on behalf of the Security Council over Monday’s death toll. However, the U.S. blocked it from being adopted and published.

The Kuwaiti statement also included a call for the creation of an “independent and transparent investigation” into Israel’s actions on the border. It wasn’t the first time that the U.S. has blocked an action at the Security Council related to Israel’s actions in Gaza, but was notable in light of the high death toll yesterday in Gaza – the highest since the end of the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. (Amir Tibon)

Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent