Deadly new clashes erupted Tuesday in the Gaza Strip as thousands of Palestinians staged angry funeral processions for dozens of demonstrators killed a day earlier by Israeli troops. Israel, meanwhile, weathered growing international criticism over the violence.
The latest confrontations came as Palestinians commemorated their mass displacement 70 years ago following the creation of Israel. At least two more fatalities near Gaza’s frontier with Israel were reported by Palestinian officials, pushing the death toll for Monday and Tuesday above 60. Israel’s military also said scattered clashes broke out in the West Bank.
Monday’s outbreak of lethal violence in Gaza coincided with Israeli rejoicing over the Trump administration’s symbolic inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in the contested city of Jerusalem. The embassy festivities added fuel to the seven-week-old Gaza demonstrations denouncing a more than decade-long blockade of the crowded enclave and demanding a Palestinian return to ancestral homes in Israel.
Israel insisted anew that it used live fire in response to a deadly threat posed by Palestinians seeking to breach the border fence between Israel and Gaza. It said at least 24 of those killed Monday were militants.
At the United Nations on Tuesday, Trump’s ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley, staunchly defended Israel, telling the Security Council that no member “would act with more restraint than Israel has” in the ongoing Gaza border confrontation.