In Gaza, the Israeli military has killed at least 41 Palestinians today, amid the massive nonviolent protests against the U.S. Embassy’s opening in Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers are currently firing live ammunition into the crowd of tens of thousands of Palestinian protesters, who have gathered in Gaza near the heavily fortified border with Israel. Al Jazeera is reporting that Israeli soldiers have wounded at least 1,500 Palestinians, in addition to the 41 killed so far today. The Israeli military has also been dropping tear gas from drones over Gaza.
This comes as senior members of the Trump administration have gathered in Jerusalem for the opening of the U.S. Embassy, including President Trump’s daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump; her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, is expected to lay out the Trump administration’s plan for Middle East peace in the coming weeks. The Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem has sparked widespread international condemnation, while it has been praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke Sunday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “This week, we are going to be blessed with a really historic event: the decision of the strongest superpower in the world, our friend the United States, to move its embassy here. President Trump promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and he did it. He promised to move the American Embassy to Israel, and he is doing it. Of course we will all celebrate this day, a real celebration tomorrow.”
Two controversial pastors have been chosen by the Trump administration to lead prayers at the U.S. Embassy’s opening, including the right-wing preacher Robert Jeffress, who has previously said, “Islam is a false religion inspired by Satan,” and that “You can’t be saved by being a Jew.”