Dozens killed in gaza as us embassy opens in jerusalem gas yourself in car

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Presentation of colors by U.S Marines and singing of the U.S national anthem during the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, Monday, May 14, 2018. Amid deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border, President Donald Trump’s top aides and supporters on Monday celebrated the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a campaign promised fulfilled. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 41 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border on Monday. It was the deadliest day there since a devastating 2014 cross-border war and cast a pall over Israel’s festive inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

In a show of anger fueled by the embassy move, protesters set tires on fire, sending plumes of black smoke into the air, and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border. The Israeli military said its troops had come under fire, and accused protesters of trying to break through the border fence. It said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to plant a bomb.

In Gaza, the Hamas-led protest was meant to be the biggest yet in a weeks-long campaign against a decade-old blockade of the territory. The Israeli military estimated a turnout of about 40,000, saying this fell short of what Hamas had hoped for.

The protests mark the culmination of a campaign, led by Hamas and fueled by despair among Gaza’s 2 million people, to break the blockade of the territory imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007. Since weekly border marches began in late March, 83 Palestinian protesters have been killed and more than 2,500 wounded by Israeli army fire. Hamas said four members, including three security men, were among the dead Monday.

“Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will be a disaster on the American administration and a black day in the history of the American people because they are partners with the occupation and its aggression against the Palestinian people,” he added.

Most of the casualties were in the southern Gaza towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli forces were firing volleys of tear gas to disperse the crowds, and the sound of heavy gunfire could be heard. Sirens were constantly wailing as the wounded were carried to nearby ambulances. Groups of young activists repeatedly approached the fence, but were quickly scattered by gunfire and tear gas.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the army had set up additional “layers” of security in and around communities near the border to defend Israeli civilians. He said there already had been several “significant attempts” to break through the fence.

But it also marks the anniversary of what Palestinians call their “nakba,” or catastrophe, a reference to the uprooting of hundreds of thousands who fled or were expelled from present-day Israel during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

In the West Bank, several dozen Palestinian stone-throwers clashed with Israeli troops on the outskirts of Jerusalem, with no immediate reports of injuries. Earlier Monday, several thousand gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah to protest the inauguration of the new embassy.

Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as a capital and view the Trump administration’s change in policy as a blatant show of pro-Israel bias. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly praised Trump’s decision to upend decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

European foreign ministers said Monday the embassy move was unwise and likely to exacerbate tensions. Their comments come after the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania blocked the full 28-nation European Union from publishing a statement about the U.S. move.