Deadly new clashes erupt in Gaza as fu­ner­als be­gin

Is­rael finds it­self on de­fen­sive over deaths of protesters


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Deadly new clashes erupted Tues­day in the Gaza Strip as thou­sands of Pales­tini­ans staged an­gry funeral pro­ces­sions for dozens of demon­stra­tors killed a day ear­lier by Is­raeli troops. Is­rael, mean­while, weath­ered grow­ing in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism over the vi­o­lence.

The lat­est con­fronta­tions came as Pales­tini­ans com­mem­o­rated their mass dis­place­ment 70 years ago fol­low­ing the cre­ation of Is­rael. At least two more fa­tal­i­ties near Gaza’s fron­tier with Is­rael were re­ported by Pales­tinian of­fi­cials, push­ing the death toll for Mon­day and Tues­day above 60. Is­rael’s mil­i­tary also said scat­tered clashes broke out in the West Bank.

Mon­day’s out­break of lethal vi­o­lence in Gaza co­in­cided with Is­raeli re­joic­ing over the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sym­bolic in­au­gu­ra­tion of a new U.S. Em­bassy in the con­tested city of Jerusalem. The em­bassy fes­tiv­i­ties added fuel to the 7-week-old Gaza demon­stra­tions de­nounc­ing a more than decade­long block­ade of the crowded en­clave and de­mand­ing a Pales­tinian re­turn to an­ces­tral homes in Is­rael.

Is­rael in­sisted anew that it used live fire in re­sponse to a deadly threat posed by Pales­tini­ans seek­ing to breach the bor­der fence be­tween Is­rael and Gaza. It said at least 24 of those killed Mon­day were mil­i­tants.

At the United Na­tions on Tues­day, Trump’s am­bas­sador to the world body, Nikki Ha­ley, staunchly de­fended Is­rael, telling the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil that no mem­ber “would act with more re­straint than Is­rael has” in the on­go­ing Gaza bor­der con­fronta­tion.

The Pales­tinian U.N. en­voy urged the coun­cil to con­demn the killings, back an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and get Is­rael to lift the block­ade.

“How many Pales­tini­ans have to die be­fore you take ac­tion?” Pales­tinian Am­bas­sador Riyad Man­sour asked. “Why are you par­a­lyzed?”

In the West Bank on Tues­day, the Is­raeli mil­i­tary said 1,300 Pales­tini­ans par­tic­i­pated in what it de­scribed as “vi­o­lent ri­ots” at 18 lo­ca­tions and said protesters burned tires and hurled rocks and fire­bombs at se­cu­rity forces. The mil­i­tary said in the wake of Mon­day’s bor­der con­fronta­tion, its air­craft hit more than a dozen sites in Gaza that it de­scribed as “ter­ror tar­gets.”

As is tra­di­tional on May 15, Pales­tini­ans on Tues­day ob­served what they call the “nakba” (catas­tro­phe) of 70 years ago, when hun­dreds of thou­sands fled or were forced from their homes in what is now Is­rael. Shops and busi­nesses were shut­tered in Gaza City and in Ra­mal­lah, the West Bank’s ad­min­is­tra­tive cap­i­tal.


Is­raeli fire­fight­ers ex­tin­guish trac­tor tires in a farm­land set on fire by a kite with at­tached burn­ing cloth launched from Gaza on the Is­raeli side of the bor­der Tues­day.

Riyad Man­sour

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