Calm Falls Over Israel-Gaza Border After Opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

In Israel, a tense, almost pastoral calm prevailed near the Gaza border early Tuesday. (Credit Amir Cohen/Reuters)
In Israel, a tense, almost pastoral calm prevailed near the Gaza border early Tuesday. (Credit Amir Cohen/Reuters)

Gaza is largely quiet, a day after protests against Israel turned bloody.

In Gaza, grief and uncertainty.

Gaza awoke on Tuesday to a grim agenda: Funerals for protesters killed along the fence bordering Israel, including one for an 8-month-old baby girl overcome by tear gas; and frenzied work treating the thousands of people wounded, in hospitals so overrun with patients that tents were set up in their courtyards.

There was also uncertainty about whether the demonstrations would grow, fade, or give way to an outright armed conflict. The death toll in the protests reached 60 overnight.

The demonstrations on Monday, the latest in a series of protests intended to spotlight anger on the blockade that has inflicted economic misery for the residents of Gaza, coincided with the formal relocation of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, another source of grievance for Palestinians.

A day after the protests, Palestinians commemorated the Nakba, the expulsion or flight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes upon the creation of the state of Israel 70 years ago. Large protests in Gaza and in the West Bank had been planned for the day, but in the wake of Monday’s bloodshed, a more subdued approach appeared to have taken hold.

In downtown Gaza City, the streets were quiet, largely because Hamas, the militant group that controls the territory, had ordered a general strike. Shops were closed, though the streets were not entirely deserted because people were streaming to mosques for midday funerals of those killed on Monday. — Isabel Kershner and Declan Walsh

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SOURCE: The New York Times