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IDF Prepares for New Mass Protests After Gaza Violence

© REUTERS / Ibraheem Abu MustafaPalestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018
Palestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
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A total of 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,400 injured during the clashes with Israeli Defense Forces as the so-called Great March of Return turned violent following the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem on May 14.

The Israel Defense Force expects a new wave of marches and demonstrations as the March of Return organizing committee in the Gaza Strip has urged residents to take to the streets on May 18, the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, under the slogan “Friday for the martyrs and the wounded.” The committee reportedly stated that the next rally after this week is set for June 5, the anniversary of the Six-Day War.

READ MORE: Egypt Reportedly Helps Calm Things Down at Gaza Border

Israeli soldier work on a tank placed near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights (File) - Sputnik International
Only Int'l Boycott Can Stop Israel's Aggressive Actions – Turkish Analyst
Brutal clashes shook the Gaza Strip earlier this week, as the United States’ embassy was officially relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the outbreak of violence claimed the lives of some 60 Palestinians, injuring up to 2,700 others, as the IDF turned to the use of force to quell the crowds. Over 10,000 Palestinians had reportedly taken part in the protests against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Israel’s violent crackdown on the protesters has drawn widespread criticism, with Kuwait urging a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation along the Gaza-Israel border. During the UNSC emergency session, the majority of envoys condemned the use of force by Israel, with many calling for an independent investigation into Monday’s violence.

READ MORE: Israeli Defense Minister Calls Hamas ‘Cannibals’ Responsible for Gaza Clashes

Turkey has also called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Friday to discuss the Palestinian death toll. In light of the violence Ankara has recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Tel Aviv for consultations, having accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide”; South Africa has also withdrawn its ambassador to Israel.

Russia has also expressed its concerns over the escalation in the Gaza Strip, urging all parties to exercise restraint and reaffirming its adherence to a two-state solution, while European nations, such as Germany and France, have condemned the violence by Israel, with French President Emmanuel Macron reiterating his opposition to the transfer of the US diplomatic premises to Jerusalem.

The United States, in turn, has blamed the deadly protests on Hamas, which was “intentionally and cynically” provoking a response – a stance, supported by the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who declared that the leaders of Hamas were “a bunch of cannibals who also treat their own children as ammunition.”

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Responding to the criticism about the IDF’s actions, Lieberman claimed that the military “has acted in accordance with ethical norms that we have not seen anywhere else in the world.”

Since March 30, Palestinians have been holding the Great March of Return near the Gaza Strip border to mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba, the Palestinian exodus after Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.

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