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At least 55 killed at Gaza border; US defends Israel's 'right to defend itself

Israeli troops fired tear gas at protesters during clashes near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel as the U.S. Embassy's opened in Jerusalem. The Israeli military killed at least 55 Palestinians and injured thousands more during the protests. (Thomas Coex/ AFP/Getty Images)

Violence continued throughout Monday as Hamas-led protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails on Israelis at the Gaza border fence as the U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem, The Guardian reported.

The Israeli military killed at least 55 Palestinians and injured thousands more during the protest against the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Trump administration expressed its support for Israel's show of force against the Palestinians.

Hamas has "intentionally and cynically provoked this type of response," deputy press secretary Raj Shah said during Monday's White House press briefing. "We’re aware of the reports of continued violence in Gaza today. The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas."

"As the Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] said, Israel has the right to defend itself," he added.

Who was injured?

British Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abu Sitteh told CNN that many of the injured Palestinians are young men.

"By far, this is the worst day. Worse than the first Friday (of the Gaza protests) and we're expecting it to be as bad tomorrow," Abu Sitteh said.

Palestinian officials have called on the international community to intervene against Israel, calling the demonstration a "horrific massacre."

What did Israel's prime minister say?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his military's show of force and thanked President Donald Trump for keeping his promise to move the U.S. Embassy.

"We are in Jerusalem, and we are here to stay!" he said at the opening of the embassy. "We gather here today to celebrate another historic day in the life of this city, which I know will take its place alongside other momentous decisions in the history of our people."

"Thank you, President Trump, and thank you all, for making the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever," he added.

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