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Amid Israel's historic inauguration of the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, dozens of Palestinians have reportedly been killed by Israeli fire as mass protests erupted along the Gaza strip.
In response to the Trump administration moving the embassy, tens of thousands rushed to the land border on the day the embassy is set to open, as guests, including President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, attend the embassy's opening.
According to the latest reports, at least 41 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military who say protesters were throwing firebombs and stones toward the troops across the Gaza border.
The reported Palestinian death toll marks the largest number since the latest series of protests broke out on March 30 and since the 2014 Gaza war.
As the deadly protests continue to wage on, the head of the United Nations expressed concern. “I’m particularly worried about the news coming from Gaza with the high number of people killed," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday in Vienna.
The conflict on Monday also resulted in at least 772 protesters being wounded, with 86 in serious or critical condition, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Following President Donald Trump's announcement last year that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the U.S. embassy there, Palestinians broke out in protest, taking to the streets shortly after the administration made the announcement.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a major campaign promise for Trump, and seen as a major accomplishment of his first term in office by his supporters.
Trump, who didn't venture to Jerusalem to take part in the opening of the new U.S. Embassy on Monday, released a pre-taped message to mark the historic move.
“We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians, and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy,” Trump said.
Trump: “We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians, and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May god bless this embassy.” pic.twitter.com/TgsaZ8Vto5
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 14, 2018
The president also took to Twitter, writing: “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”