At least 58 has been reported killed as of this writing, as Gaza braces for violence, after protests on the Gaza border turned bloody just as the US followed through a controversial plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
This incident is now considered the bloodiest day since 2014, on the same day that Israel also celebrated its 70th founding anniversary, and Palestinians mark the day of the "Nakba," or "Catastrophe," according to the Independent.
In the six weeks running up to May 14, protests were already brewing at the Gaza border, reportedly led and organized by Gaza's Islamist rulers, Hamas, according to BBC.
Hamas claimed that the protests were in keeping with their promise to step up their presence leading up to the commemoration of Nakba. At the same time, the US was also coming through with its plan to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem, as one of the key promises of US President Donald Trump during his election campaign.
The relocated embassy was supposed to start operating out of a small interim facility prepared inside the current US consulate building in Jerusalem. The final site is to be determined later as the US prepares to move the entirety of its embassy from Tel Aviv into the contested area.
Trump's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, were in attendance in their capacities as senior White House advisers. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan were also present in the opening ceremony.
"When President Trump makes a promise he keeps it... We have shown the world that the US can be trusted. We stand with our friends and allies," Kushner said in his address after Ivanka Trump formally unveiled the seal of the embassy before all present.
It was a move that stirred up demonstrators already waiting at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Thousands of protesters set fire to tires, reportedly to obscure their positions from Israeli snipers stationed around the area.
At least 58 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 2,000 people have been wounded during Monday's clashes alone. While the Israeli military claims that the protests were also serving as a cover for Palestinians to attack Israeli soldiers, there were also reports that orders were given authorizing Israeli snipers to use live fire to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, took to social media to call for an immediate stop to the Gaza clash.
"Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in #Gaza must stop now. The right to life must be respected," he said in a statement relayed on the UN Human Rights official Twitter account.