Renewed violence in Gaza kills 1 as Palestinians bury dead

By Sara Shayanian  |  Updated May 15, 2018 at 1:22 PM
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May 15 (UPI) -- Fighting continued in Gaza Tuesday, and one person was killed, the day after dozens of Palestinians died in clashes with Israel's military.

Renewed clashes started early Tuesday on the Gaza-Israel border, where the Israeli military deployed tear gas on demonstrators.

"If there were no Hamas march on the border, there'd be no loss of life," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. "Simple as that."

Funerals began Tuesday for dozens of Palestinians who died in widespread fighting a day earlier. The funerals coincided with the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call Nakba Day -- a mass displacement of Palestinians in the region after Israel's creation in May 1948 -- and the day the United States controversially opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

At an emergency meeting, Palestinian Authority President Abbas ordered a general strike and three days of mourning Tuesday.

Palestinian groups say they intend to rein in protests, but Israel's military said it's preparing for more confrontations.

The Israeli Army said it opened fire on 10,000 "violent protesters" Monday, killing at least 60 Palestinians and injuring about 2,700. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said troops acted in self-defense against Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israel Defense Forces accused Hamas, which controls Gaza, of "leading a terrorist operation" and inciting protesters.

Also Tuesday, the United States blocked a U.N. Security Council statement that calls for an "independent and transparent investigation" into Monday's deaths.

The statement, drafted by Kuwait, expressed "outrage and sorrow" and demands all countries comply with a resolution against placing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Russia said the situation in Gaza is cause for "deep concern."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noting past concern about the Jerusalem move, said they hope the United States, United Nations and European Union will "refrain from actions that could escalate tensions."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would recall his ambassadors from both Israel and the United States for "consultations" and placed the blame on Monday's "genocide" on Netanyahu and Trump. South Africa also recalled its ambassador.

"We shall continue standing with our Palestinian brothers," he said.

"Proper, firm and urgent measures are needed to put an end to the ongoing brutal killings of thousands of defenseless people at the hands of the occupying Zionists," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, saying Israel's "crimes" resulted from "unwavering U.S. support."

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement London was "saddened by the loss of life."

"We don't agree with the U.S. decision to move the embassy and we continue to believe that is playing the wrong card at the wrong time."

The United Nations warned people in the region, saying, "anyone is liable to be shot dead or injured: women, children, press, first responders, bystanders."

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