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Gaza death toll hits 60 during US embassy move protests

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Palestinians were gathering Tuesday for fresh protests along the Gaza border, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US embassy opened in Jerusalem on what was the conflict's bloodiest day in years.

Palestinians on Tuesday marked the Nakba, or "catastrophe," commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

It came a day after the US transferred its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned.

Most of the 60 Gazans killed Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza's health ministry said.

The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said.

At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

Some funerals were held on Monday, while others were taking place Tuesday.

Hundreds of people took part in the funeral of Yazan Tubasi, 23, killed east of Gaza City. His father Ibrahim, 50, said his son had a young son.

"I am happy that my son is a martyr," he said, though he was crying uncontrollably. "He is among dozens who died for the sake of Palestine and Jerusalem."

Small numbers of protesters began returning to the border area on Tuesday, with larger crowds expected later.

In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared a general strike on Tuesday after accusing Israel of "massacres."

On Monday, tens of thousands had gathered near the border in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.

The death toll led to strong condemnation from rights groups and concern from a range of countries.

But the US, which blamed Hamas, blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats said.

Despite the bloodshed, the embassy inauguration went ahead as planned in Jerusalem, attended by a Washington delegation that included US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides.

Israel's military said 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in the protests and clashes.



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