The U.S. cemented its ties to Israel by opening a new embassy in Jerusalem, as clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israel’s military left dozens dead and added to the Trump administration’s challenges in the Middle East.
The ceremony, held in a large tent beside the new embassy site, was attended by top Israeli and U.S. officials. “This is a great day for Israel, it’s a great day for America,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told the attendees. “I also believe it’s a great day for peace.”
Some 50 miles away, Israeli military used warplanes to hit targets belonging to Gaza rulers Hamas and fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters as many of them attempted to breach the fence dividing the Gaza Strip with Israel.
Protesters used explosive devices, firebombs and flaming kites, according to the Israeli military. Numerous shots were fired, and Gazans burned tires and threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers.
Gaza officials said 52 protesters were killed—among them a 12- and a 14-year-old—and more than 2,400 were injured. That marked the largest single-day death toll since the Israeli army fought a conflict with Hamas in 2014.
The unrest followed months of tension over President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, where it has resided since soon after Israel’s 1948 founding. It coincided with a host of anniversaries that Hamas has used to rally support…