Dozens of Palestinians were killed and thousands more wounded in clashes with Israel in Gaza Monday, sparking condemnations from across the world, as dignitaries convened in Jerusalem for the official opening of the U.S. Embassy.
Meanwhile, Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem were urged to turn out en masse to protest the embassy move and take part in Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as Palestinians term Israel’s creation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ended a consultation with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, the head of the Shin Bet security service, and the head of Israel’s National Security Council.
Commenting on Gaza violence, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says “what Israel is doing is a genocide” and accuses it of being “a terrorist state.”
Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to be held on Friday over the killings in Gaza, Deputy PM Bekir Bozdag tells the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The White House blames Hamas leaders for the deadly violence in Gaza on Monday and says Israel has a right to defend itself
The White House said on Monday that the responsibility for the deaths of dozens of Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border “rests squarely with Hamas,” and added that the demonstrations on the border are “cynical.” The comment came after a bloody day on the border during which the IDF shot to death more than 52 Palestinians. White House spokesman Raj Shah added that the Trump administration fully supports Israel’s “right to defend itself.”
South Africa said Monday that due to the death toll in Gaza, the country would be recall its ambassador to Israel.
“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the government has taken the decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” a statement said.
Addressing violence in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “every nation has the right to defend its borders. Hamas clearly says its intentions are to destroy Israel and sends thousands to break through the border for that end. We will continue to act with resolve to defend our sovereignty and our citizens.”