Israeli Occupation Fire Kills Dozens of Palestinian Protesters ahead of US Embassy Inauguration in al-Quds

OCCUPIED Al-QUDS- More than 50 Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli fire during demonstrations ahead of the US embassy inauguration in al-Quds, the Palestinian health ministry said Monday.

RT reported that more than 1,600 protesters have been injured in Gaza so far on what has been the most violent day of the six week long Great March of Return. Those wounded on Monday include 74 children and 23 women, according to the ministry.

 According to Press TV, Israeli occupation troops opened fire on Palestinians who have gathered near a Gaza fence for the climax of a six-week demonstration coinciding with the inauguration of US embassy in al-Quds.

Earlier reports obtained from Gaza health officials said that at least 25 Palestinians have been shot dead and hundreds have been wounded by Israeli snipers who are positioned along the fence, facing the protesters.

 The Israeli army is expecting about 100,000 demonstrators to gather at main locations, coinciding with a gala in the afternoon to officially relocate US embassy to al-Quds.

Israeli troops have killed 45 Palestinians since the demonstrations began on March 30, according to Palestinian health officials, while no Israeli casualties have been reported.

The death toll has drawn international criticism, but the United States which has angered Muslims with its embassy move, has supported Israel.

On Sunday, the Israeli air force dropped leaflets over the Gaza Strip warning Palestinians not to approach the fence and threatening to target Hamas facilities in the besieged territory if  protesters breach the barrier.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli aircraft also dropped flammable material on Monday to burn tires that protesters had stacked to set on fire. The Israelis also fired tear gas at people inside the tented encampments that have sprung up along the fence.

Hardline education minister Naftali Bennett told Israel Radio that the regime would treat the Gaza fence as an "Iron Wall" and anyone who approached it as a "terrorist".

The rallies known as the “Great March of Return” are due to climax on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when Israel was created.

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible Israeli eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.

The daily Haaretz quoted a senior Israeli officer in the Southern Command as predicting that Monday’s protests would be stronger than those of the previous seven weeks as it coincides with the US embassy relocation.

Israel has doubled the number of forces around the Gaza Strip and in occupied West Bank territories ahead of the controversial embassy opening. On Sunday, the regime deployed 11 battalions along the Gaza fence, including special forces, intelligence units and snipers.

Additional combat battalions and intelligence units are to be deployed to the West Bank, the Israeli daily reported.

More than 1,000 Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds on Sunday, in a provocative act ahead of the US embassy opening.

H.M

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