The Gaza strip is a scene of chaos and violence as Palestinian officials say Israeli troops have killed 55 people and wounded 2,700. Monday, May 14 has been the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since the 2014 war.
The United Nations said Israel’s actions are "outrageous human rights violations". The violence erupted as the U.S. opened an embassy in Jerusalem. The move has incensed Palestinians, who say the U.S. move jeopardizes their claim of eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Palestinians living in Gaza have been demonstrating for six weeks as part of a protest, orchestrated by Hamas, called the "Great March of Return". The protesters are demanding the return of the land to Palestinians who were driven out.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 107 Palestinians in the coastal enclave and wounded about 12,000 people.
The protest comes ahead of the annual commemorations of the Nakba, or "catastrophe", when the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948, in a violent campaign that led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages.
Israel said some 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in "violent riots" at 13 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence. The BBC reports that Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices, while the Israeli military used tear gas and live fire from snipers.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his military, saying: "Every country has an obligation to defend its borders.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of "state terror" and "genocide", according to state-run Anadolu agency, as Ankara announced three days of national mourning over the killing of scores of Palestinians in Gaza.
"Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state," Erdogan told Turkish students during a visit in Britain's capital, London. "What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America," he added.
Turkey is recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel in an official protest of the Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
White House officials have placed the blame squarely on Hamas.