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WATCH: 55 Palestinian Protesters Killed As U.S. Opens Jerusalem Embassy

The day was marked by violence and bloodshed, as tens of thousands of Palestinians protested the embassy opening and Israeli army forces killed dozens of protesters

THE LATEST on the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and Palestinian protests (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

U.S. officials say several dozen additional Marines are being deployed to beef up security at embassies in Israel, Jordan and Turkey amid outbreaks of violence since the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

The officials say the increases are temporary and will involve roughly a dozen more Marines in each location. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss troop movements.

It was not clear how many Marines would be at the new embassy in Jerusalem and how many would remain at the Tel Aviv facility, which is still operating.

Capt. Ryan E. Alvis, Marine Corps spokeswoman, said a number of troops from the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit were requested as a result of current events. She did not provide numbers or location details.

—Lolita C. Baldor

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6:20 p.m.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are protesting the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and Israeli army forces have killed 55 protesters, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry also said some 2,770 people have been hurt in demonstrations and clashes.

More than 35,000 people are protesting along the Gaza border, the Israel Defense Forces say. The army said it killed three protesters who were trying to set a bomb next to the security fence in Rafah. It’s the most deaths in one day the area has seen since the summer of 2014, when more than 2,000 Palestinians died.

The number of casualties rose steadily on Monday, as the opening of the American embassy at 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) neared. The health ministry published a list of the dead, showing that their ages ranged from 14 to 39 years old.

The world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations said it “strongly rejects and condemns” the White House’s “deplorable action” to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation said it considers the U.S. move an “illegal decision” and “an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people.” The organization said the move Monday also represents “an affront to international peace and security.”

The OIC said the U.S. administration has “expressed utter disdain and disrespect to Palestinian legitimate rights and international law” and shown disregard toward the sentiments of Muslims, who value Jerusalem as home to one of Islam’s holiest sites, the al-Aqsa mosque complex.

The statement comes as at least 41 Palestinians, including five minors, were killed by Israeli forces Monday. More than 770 Palestinians were wounded in protests in the Gaza Strip

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5:45 p.m.

A top Turkish official has condemned Israel for deadly clashes along the Israeli-Gaza border, while the foreign ministry blasted the U.S. decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.

Taking to Twitter, the spokesman to the Turkish president called Monday’s clashes that killed at least 41 Palestinians “another dark spot, another crime added to Israel’s wall of shame.”

Ibrahim Kalin criticized the international community for its silence “in the face of this systematic barbarism.” He tweeted: “Palestine is not alone. Jerusalem is not alone.”

The Turkish foreign ministry condemned in a statement the U.S. decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, saying it violated international law and damaged the peace process. It also slammed Israel: “We curse the massacre carried out by Israeli security forces encouraged by this step on the Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations.”

The foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, called Israel’s actions “state terror.”

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5:40 p.m.

Egypt has condemned the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli fire near the Gaza boarder.

Monday’s statement by Foreign Ministry condemned what it said “the use of force against peaceful marches.”

It has also warned of the “negative repercussion of such serious escalation in the Palestinian occupied territories.”

The statement did not mention today’s relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire amid mass protests near the Gaza border has reached 41, making it the deadliest day since a 2014 war with Israel.

The violence made it the deadliest day in Gaza since the devastating cross-border war between the territory’s Hamas rulers and Israel four years ago.

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5:30 p.m.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief is calling on Israel to respect the “principle of proportionality in the use of force,” after Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 41 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border.

Federica Mogherini said Monday that all should act “with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life” and added that “Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest.”

At the same time, she insisted that Hamas must make sure demonstrators in Gaza are peaceful and “must not exploit them for other means.”

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5:25 p.m.

The pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera said one of its reporters has been wounded while covering demonstrations in Gaza.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera reported Monday afternoon that journalist Wael Dhadouh was “injured by live ammunition from Israeli forces.”

It did not elaborate in a tweet announcing Dhadouh’s injury.

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5:20 p.m.

Israel’s prime minister said Jerusalem will always be the “eternal, undivided” capital of Israel.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “glorious” day.

Netanyahu thanked President Donald Trump for showing the “courage” to keep a key campaign promise and said relations with the U.S. have never been stronger.

He said Mideast peace must be founded on what he said is the “truth” recognized by the U.S.

“The truth is that Jerusalem has been and always will be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state,” he said.

The Palestinians claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital and have strongly objected to Trump’s move.

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5:15 p.m.

Israel’s military said it has carried out five airstrikes in Gaza after militants exchanged fire with soldiers.

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the military struck training camps of the militant Islamic group Hamas that rules Gaza and has been leading protests along the border with Israel.

He said troops exchanged fire with militants on 3 separate occasions.

Manelis said turn out by Monday afternoon was about 40,000. He said the army views that number as a “failure for Hamas.”

He said the army noticed there were more women at the front of the protest than in past rallies and accused Hamas of paying people to protest.

At least 41 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire Monday making it the bloodiest day there since a 2014 war with Israel

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5:10 p.m.

Jared Kushner said Palestinians participating in Gaza border protests are “part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son in law and chief Mideast adviser, expressed hope for forging Mideast peace as he addressed the opening ceremony for the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

As he spoke, deadly protests continued along Gaza’s border with Israel. With over 40 dead, it was the deadliest round of cross-border violence since a 2014 war and left Kushner’s peace efforts in tatters.

“As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution,” he said.

He said the “journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth.”

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5 p.m.

Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel, including five members of parliament, are staging a protest near the site of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

The protest coincided with the inauguration of the embassy Monday afternoon, attended by a high-powered delegation from the Trump administration.

Dozens of police blocked the street near the compound, preventing the protesters from getting closer.

The demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and held signs reading “No to moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

The embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. The decision infuriated Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital.

In Gaza, at least 41 Palestinian were killed by Israeli fire Monday in a mass protest against the embassy move.

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4:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. remains “fully committed” to pursuing a Mideast peace deal as it opens its controversial new embassy in Jerusalem.

In a videotaped message to the opening ceremony Monday, Trump said the new embassy has “been a long time coming.” Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was one of Trump’s key campaign promise that was welcomed by Israel.

But the move has infuriated the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as their capital and have said that the move disqualifies the U.S. as a Mideast peace mediator.

Trump said his “greatest hope” is for peace. He said the United States “remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement.”

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Israeli fire killed at least 18 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border on Monday, in a violent burst of bloodshed that cast a cloud over Israel’s festive inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

It was the deadliest single day of protests since the Palestinians began staging weekly border demonstrations on March 30 in an attempt to break an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Protesters set tires on fire, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air, while the Israeli military accused protesters of trying to break through the border fence and plant a bomb, and said troops had come under fire.

By midafternoon, at least 18 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed while over 500 were wounded by Israeli fire, Palestinian health officials said.

In the West Bank, several thousand people gathered in the center of Ramallah, while hundreds marched to the Qalandiya crossing on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where protesters threw stones at Israeli troops.

The protest in Gaza was to be the biggest yet in a weekslong campaign against a decade-old blockade of the territory. The march was also directed at the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem later Monday. The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv, a key campaign promise of President Donald Trump, has infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital.

“A great day for Israel!” Trump tweeted early Monday.

Monday marked the biggest showdown in recent weeks between Israel’s military and Gaza’s Hamas rulers along the volatile border.

It is the culmination of a campaign, led by the Islamic militant Hamas and fueled by despair among Gaza’s 2 million people, to break the decade-old border 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, 60 Palestinian protesters have been killed and more than 2,300 wounded by Israeli army fire.

Hamas leaders have suggested a border breach is possible Monday, while Israel has warned it would prevent protesters from breaking through the barrier at any cost.

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 evacuated on stretchers 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 in case of a mass breach. He said there already had been several “significant attempts” to break through the fence.

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth near the Israeli border fence, east of Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza’s border with Israel, as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

“Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them,” he said.

In a statement, the army said troops had shot and killed three Palestinians who attempted to plant a bomb along the fence. It also said an aircraft had targeted a Hamas post in northern Gaza after Israeli troops came under fire.

The timing of Monday’s events was deeply symbolic, both to Israel and the Palestinians.

The U.S. said it chose the date to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment.

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 what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s independence.

A majority of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of refugees, and the protests have been billed as the “Great March of Return” to long-lost homes in what is now Israel.

In one of the border areas east of Gaza City, Mohammed Hamami, a 40-year-old civil servant, joined a crowd of hundreds of protesters, along with his mother and five children.

“Today we are here to send a message to Israel and its allies that we will never give up on our land,” he said.

“We will cross the border and impose new realities like the reality Trump imposed in Jerusalem,” he added, referring to President Donald Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then move the U.S. Embassy there.

Some protesters moved to within about 150 meters (yards) of the border fence. A reporter saw two men who tried to advance further being shot in the legs by Israeli troops.

Clouds of black smoke from burning tires rose into the air. Earlier Monday, Israeli drones dropping incendiary material had pre-emptively set ablaze some of the tires collected in advance by activists.

Protesters have used the thick smoke as cover against Israeli snipers perched on high sand berms on the other side of the border. The army accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to plan or carry out attacks.

Leaflets dropped over Gaza by army jets warned that those approaching the border “jeopardize” their lives. The warning said the army is “prepared to face all scenarios and will act against every attempt to damage the security fence or harm IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians.”

Trump’s decision to go forward with a campaign promise to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was welcomed by Israel and condemned by the Palestinians.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community. The Palestinians seek the city’s eastern half as the capital of a future state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cut ties with the Trump administration and declared it unfit to remain in its role as the sole mediator in peace talks.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide, blasted the Trump administration Monday, saying Trump had violated a promise to hold off on moving the embassy to give peace talks a chance and that his administration is “based on lies.”

Erekat said the Trump administration has “become part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s “bold decision” in upending decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “It’s the right thing to do,” a smiling Netanyahu told the jubilant crowd at a reception in Jerusalem late Sunday.

Although Trump has said his declaration does not set the final borders of the city, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been perceived by both Israel and the Palestinians as taking Israel’s side in the most sensitive issue in their conflict.

Only two countries, Guatemala and Paraguay, have said they will follow suit. Most of the world maintains embassies in Tel Aviv, saying the Jerusalem issue must first be resolved.

In a reflection of the deep sensitivities, dozens of countries — including Britain, France and Germany — skipped a celebration Sunday night at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Monday’s opening will be attended by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both serve as White House advisers. Kushner leads the Trump Mideast team.

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