70 years after the creation of the Israeli state, the United States of America recognized Jerusalem as the country’s official capital. On Monday the 14th, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to Donald Trump, attended the opening ceremony of the US embassy. As the American and Israeli officials celebrated, demonstrations in Gaza broke out.
After decades of ambiguous diplomacy regarding the Israel and Palestine, the president of the United States ended it all by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of the state. Even though this declaration does not change much of legitimacy, some countries like Guatemala have also announced the relocation of their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.On the other side, leaders of Arab countries have all been angered by Trump’s decision as they made vocal opposition against the Israeli state’s authority.
Demonstrations broke out on the Gaza strip, hundreds of meters from the border. Palestinian demonstrators threw molotov cocktails and rocks on the fences and walls protecting the border. The Israeli army had an excessive reaction to what Benjamin Netanyahu called “self defense” on twitter. The army preceded by throwing tear gas, shooting rubber bullets and eventually real bullets. Gaza’s ministry of health reported 52 people were killed and more than 2,400 were injured. There are six children and one paramedic among the dead.
The Israel Defense Forces declared that it was following protocol. The IDF said it killed three “terrorists” and struck five “terrorist targets.” Amnesty International is accusing the Israeli forces of violation of International Law as the UN Human Rights experts urge Israel to stop using excessive force against protesters.
United States officials have not mentioned the protests in their communication and remain undoubtedly on Israel’s ‘side’ even in the cases of terrible events like this one.
It was Palestine’s deadliest day since 2014 when Israel killed 2300 and injured 17 000 Palestinians according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This day was highly symbolic as May 15th marks The Great March of Return for Palestinians who commemorate what they call the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes or fled the violence that came with creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Today, one in three refugees worldwide is a Palestinian. This display of violence by the Israeli State seems to prove to the world that a solution to this conflict is unlikely to be found in the next few months.
-By Sofia R.