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Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 61, After Israeli Military Massacres Protesters

HeadlineMay 15, 2018

The Israeli military killed at least 61 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 2,700 more for protesting Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation. Among the victims shot dead by an Israeli sniper was 30-year-old Fadi Abu Salmi, who used a wheelchair and had both his legs amputated. Another victim was 8-month-old Laila al-Ghandour, who died early this morning after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli military, including being dropped by drones. Palestinian leaders are accusing the Israeli military of carrying out war crimes during Monday’s crackdown. This is Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Saeb Erekat: “We witnessed today the killing and slaughtering of dozens of our people in the Gaza Strip at the hands of the Israeli army, an act that’s tantamount to a war crime, which we condemn with the strongest possible terms, and urge the international community to move to provide international protection for our people. At the same time, we witnessed the movement of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, which is an act that’s tantamount to putting the cornerstone of a new settlement outpost in the occupied Palestinian land. Moving the embassy, now we have a new settlement outpost called 'American Embassy.'”

Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza have launched a general strike today to protest the killings. This is Bethlehem resident Maher Kanawati.

Maher Kanawati: “Today is a total strike here in Bethlehem for the 70 years Nakba in Palestine. Also, we have a strike today due to the fact that yesterday in Gaza over 52 martyrs and over 2,400 injured in a peaceful demonstration against the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Today’s general strike comes on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Day of Catastrophe, when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee or were expelled from their homes.

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