The Israeli military killed at least 43 members of a Palestinian mob attempting to storm the Gaza border with Israel during a Hamas-led protest against Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, The Associated Press reported.
The Israeli military said angry protesters launched firebombs and stones, and also set tires on fire, sending thick clouds of black smoke into the air.
President Donald Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which enraged Palestinians who claim Jerusalem as their capital.
More than 1,000 other protesters were reportedly wounded, some critically, during what was meant to be the biggest protest yet in the weekslong campaign against the embassy.
Israeli military used tear gas and live ammunition against Palestinians who tried to scale a fence at the border.
“Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, spokesman for Israel’s military, told the AP.
What did Israel's prime minister say?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
“Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that’s because you can’t base peace on a foundation of lies,” Netanyahu said.
What do Hamas leaders say?
Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas figure, said the protests against Israel at the border will continue “until the rights of the Palestinian people are achieved.”
Monday's protests have been called the deadliest since 2014.
Critics argue that moving the embassy to Jerusalem will lead to unrest in the Middle East.
“If you're not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that's where the American Embassy should be, then you're operating on a completely different wavelength," White House national security adviser John Bolton told ABC’s “This Week.”