Dozens killed in protests as U.S. opens embassy in Jerusalem

Dozens killed in protests as U.S. opens embassy in Jerusalem
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At least 37 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded during an attempt by Palestinians to cross the border from Gaza to Israel. 

The New York Times, citing the Health Ministry in Gaza, put the death toll at 37. 

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Protests on the border have been taking place for weeks but appeared to rise in intensity ahead of the scheduled opening on Monday of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE decided to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a controversial step opposed by other nations given the disputed status of Jerusalem, which both Israel and Palestinians recognize as their capital.

Israeli troops seeking to keep Palestinians out of Israel used tear gas and live ammunition to keep Palestinians from scaling a fence across the border.

Video shows waves of protestors seeking to cross. Reports indicated many children were among those killed and wounded.

Israelis said some protesters threw explosives or sent kites lit with fire across the border, according to the Times.

“Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them,” a spokesman for Israel’s military, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, told The Associated Press.

Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem left Palestinians saying the United States could no longer position itself as a peacemaker.

Palestinians have sought to make the eastern part of Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state. Given the Trump decision, Palestine's leaders say they can no longer take the U.S. seriously as a mediator.

Reuters reported Sunday that diplomats from western European Union nations did not take part in the launch event commemorating the embassy's move.

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpManufacturers group kicks off campaign to close the industry's skills gap Fed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Rally crowd chants '46' for Donald Trump Jr. MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate Blagojevich heaps praise on Trump after release from prison The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms MORE are attending the commemoration.

Trump in a recorded message said the moving of the embassy had “been a long time coming.”

"We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, Palestinians and all of their neighbors. May there be peace,” the president said.

"This city and its entire nation is a testament to the unbreakable strength of the Jewish people,” Trump added.

The Times reported that the clashes on the border are expected to get even larger on Tuesday, with thousands more likely to try to traverse the barrier.

--Updated at 9:33 a.m.