This blood is on the current adminstration's hands. Period. I can't see where this matters for any other reason that to appease the Religious Right in the Republican party.
At least 37 Palestinians were killed along Israel's border with Gaza on Monday as violent demonstrations grew even more deadly amid Israeli celebrations marking the U.S. Embassy's controversial move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The demonstrations are part of a weeks-long protest, dubbed the Great March of Return, demanding that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to the region they were forced to leave when Israel was established on May 15, 1948.
The embassy move has particularly outraged Palestinians who have long hoped to establish a capital themselves in the city's eastern sector. But Israel and U.S. officials were determined not to let the violence diminish the embassy celebration.
"A great day for Israel!" President Trump tweeted two hours before the ceremony was to begin.
David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, tweeted: "Tremendous excitement for the opening of the Jerusalem Embassy and great pride in our Country and our President."
Practically speaking, little will change with Monday's formal move. The U.S. consular compound in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona will become the temporary embassy, with Friedman and a small staff moving to the Arnona site.
But most of the 850 embassy workers in Tel Aviv will not move to Jerusalem until a new building is constructed, which could take a decade.
Still, the symbolism is not lost on the Palestinians. In the West Bank, several thousand people gathered in the center of Ramallah, while hundreds marched to the Qalandiya crossing on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where protesters threw stones at Israeli troops.
The worst violence has been along the border with Gaza. Israeli officials have accused Gaza's Hamas leadership of encouraging protesters to attempt to breach the border fence.
"We are adamant to return, no matter what happens," Ahmad Abu Artema, spokesperson for the March of Great Return, told Al Jazeera. This is what the people of Gaza want. It's about popular will. And this is their right."
Since weekly border marches began in late March, scores of Palestinian protesters have been killed and more than 2,300 wounded by Israeli army fire. The Gaza Health Ministry said 37 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire near Gaza border on Monday alone.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the army had bolstered its front-line forces along the border, but also set up additional “layers” of security in and around neighboring communities to defend Israeli civilians in case of a mass breach. He said there already had been several “significant attempts” to break through the fence.
“Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them,” he said.