Turkey has blamed Donald Trump’s controversial decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem for the “massacre” today, which marked the most highest Palestinian death toll since the 2014 Gaza War.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said: “We curse the massacre carried out by Israeli security forces, encouraged by this step, on the Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations.”
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim later added: Unfortunately, the U.S. has arrogantly stood by the Israeli administration which kills civilians and has partnered in this crime against humanity.
“This provocation will only worsen the problems in the region and cause a deeper mark in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, and will make peace in the region more difficult.”
He said U.S. President Donald Trump was attempting to distract attention from domestic problems by moving the embassy, “trying to hide the fire inside by setting fires outside”.
Donald Trump has been blamed for the bloodshed in Palestine today
Egypt has also hit out at Israel, warning of “negative repercussions” after the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) opened fire on Palestinians protesting at the Gaza border wall.
Health officials in Gaza said at least 52 Palestinians have been killed and 900 injured – about 450 from live bullets.
Tens of thousands of people have streamed to the coastal enclave’s land border, some approaching the Israeli fence – a line Israeli leaders said Palestinians would not be allowed to breach.
Clouds of black smoke from tyres set alight by demonstrators rose in the air while Israeli forces have used drones to drop huge quantities of tear gas.
Demonstrators, some armed with slingshots, hurled stones at the Israeli security forces, who fired volleys of tear gas and intense rounds of gunfire.
One protestor said: “Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell Israel and the world we will not accept being occupied forever.
READ MORE: US embassy opens in Jerusalem
Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border this afternoon
“Many may get martyred today, so many, but the world will hear our message. Occupation must end.”
Mr Trump was also condemned in Washington, where dozens of protesters blocked Pennsylvania Avenue, which links the White House and the Capitol building, for about two hours in front of the Trump International Hotel.
Protesters, many wearing skullcaps and black T-shirts stating that “the Jewish future demands Palestinian freedom,” sang “We will build this world with love.”
They also carried mock building parts and directional signs for an “Embassy of Freedom” to replace what they called the “Embassy of Occupation” in Jerusalem.
Speakers repeatedly updated the crowd on the death toll from the Gaza border, where at least several dozen people among the thousands protesting the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem were killed by Israeli troops.
Palestinian’s dodge tear gas during protests in Gaza today
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, praised the US president for having made “history”.
He said: “What a moving day for the people of Israel and the State of Israel.
“President Trump, by recognising history you are making history.
“Today the embassy of the most powerful country on earth, our greatest ally the United States, opened here.
“We are here in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”
Mr Netanyahu claimed Israeli snipers opened fire in self-defence.
He said: “Every country has an obligation to defend its borders
“The Hamas terrorist organisation declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal.
Chaotic scenes at the Gaza border fence, where dozens of Palestinians have been shot dead
“We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”
Mr Trump’s recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December outraged Palestinians, who said the US could no longer serve as an honest broker in any peace process with Israel.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured and annexed in the 1967 Middle East war, as its “eternal and indivisible capital” in a move that has not won international recognition.