SA recalls ambassador as Israeli troops kill dozens of Palestinians

Sergio Conner
May 15, 2018

"At a minimum, that would require urging the Israelis to stop using lethal force against unarmed protesters".

It was the most violent day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 Gaza war.

The embassy's opening ceremony started at 04:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT).

European leaders seem surprised and are looking for a way to keep the deal going while avoiding USA sanctions.

The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem fulfilled a pledge by Trump, who in December recognised the city as Israel's capital.

Palestinian American relations have plunged to a new low.

In a statement on Monday night, the party also called for the expulsion of the Israeli mission "to our country as an example to the whole world that a relationship to Israel is complicity with its racist aggression on Palestinians".

"Australia should consider following Trump's move", Mr Abbott tweeted. "Today we open the United States embassy in Jerusalem, Israel", he said to applause.

About 800 guests attended the ceremony.

The United States opened its embassy in hotly contested Jerusalem on Monday, after mass protests by Palestinians earlier in the day left 58 dead and more than 2,700 wounded, with hundreds of them reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers.

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Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition at protesters in what the army said were "standard operating procedures" to prevent a breach of the fence.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported more than 1,600 casualties and counting, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) accused the Palestinian militant group Hamas of inciting violence and terror against Israel.

"IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means and fire in accordance with standard operating procedures". Hamas blamed Israel. Nary a thought for the people of Gaza, though. "These strikes were conducted in response to Hamas's firing on IDF troops in northern Gaza", the IDF press service said on Twitter. Almost 3,000 Palestinians have been injured in the protests so far.

"Police arrested 14 suspects". There was instant outrage; the move was termed as a setback to peace efforts.

The majority of regional countries expressed outrage over the United States step, calling it unlawful. "As it was before, Jerusalem will continue to be independent Palestine's capital", he said. "We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay".

Left unsaid was the fact that Kushner's team has had to shelve Trump's long-awaited peace plan indefinitely amid the Palestinian uproar over the embassy move, several USA officials have said. But, certainly, the opening of the USA embassy in Jerusalem, a capital claimed by both people, exacerbated an already volatile situation. "Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it", Kushner said. Tuesday also marks the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which Friday prayers are likely to turn into further protests.

"We celebrate history in the making", said Vice President Mike Pence.

And now comes the implementation of Trump's decision to move the U.S.

"This is a great day".

Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the move a "clear violation of worldwide law", Mena said. The total number of fatalities since a series of protests to demand Palestinians' right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel is now 97.

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