Israeli forces shot and killed 59 Palestinians on Monday, May 14 along the frontier with Gaza as mass protests erupted against the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
The Gaza health military said a 14-year-old was among the people killed by Israeli military snipers as Palestinians rolled burning tires and threw stones at the fence between Gaza and Israel. More than 2,400 people were reported injured. Tens of thousands had turned out by midday to protest the symbolic opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem.
Among the dead on Monday were eight children under the age of 16, according to Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations.
More than 70 Palestinians have been killed since the ‘March of Return’ demonstrations began on March 30. Organizers planned a 45-day protest leading up to May 15 – Nakba Day, the date Palestinians mark their displacement from their lands in what is now Israel.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces did not respond to a request for comment.
The IDF said earlier Monday that 10,000 people were protesting in Gaza.
“Approximately 10,000 violent rioters are currently assembled in a number of locations along the Gaza Strip border and thousands more are gathered by the tents approximately half a kilometre away from the security fence,” the IDF said.
“The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios. IDF commanders are present in the field & are conducting situation assessments. The IDF will act forcefully against any terrorist activity & will operate to prevent attacks against Israelis.”
No Israelis have been injured during the protests, according to the military.
Two airstrikes were reported in Gaza in the afternoon.
“A short while ago, an IAF fighter jet struck 5 Hamas terror organization targets in a military training facility in northern Gaza,” the Israeli military said.
Additionally, the IDF said jets and a tank “targeted two additional Hamas positions” in Gaza “in response to Hamas’s firing on IDF troops in northern Gaza.”
Less than 100km (60 miles) away, the U.S. embassy ceremony began at 4 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), marking the relocation of the mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the move in December, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The city is officially disputed, with both Israelis and Palestinians claiming it as their capital.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has condemned what it called the “disproportionate use of force displayed by the Israeli security forces against Palestinian demonstrators,” and called for an independent investigation into the military response.
This story was updated throughout the day on May 14 and on the morning of May 15 to update the death toll.