Israel Kills Dozens of Protesters as Trump’s Family Celebrates New Jerusalem Embassy

The administration’s diplomatic move has triggered a deadly day of violence.

Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

As Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians protesting the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, President Donald Trump published a video message commemorating what he hailed as a long overdue and “historic” move to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s “true” capital.

“Congratulations, it’s been a long time coming,” he said in a video posted on social media, amid reports Israeli troops had killed at least 52 people along Israel’s border with Gaza. The violence on Monday marked the deadliest day since the “Great March of Return” protests first erupted six weeks ago. Officials estimate another 900 Palestinians had been injured.

Trump did not refer to the violence in his message.

The decision to relocate the embassy came along with the administration’s December announcement that it would recognize Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their capital, as Israel’s capital. Monday’s clashes took place along the border, roughly 50 miles away from an official ceremony celebrating the embassy’s opening attended by a number of Republican members of Congress and Trump aides, including the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump her husband Jared Kushner. 

Kushner delivered remarks on behalf of his father-in-law’s administration, where he described “those provoking violence” as a “part of the problem,” not a “part of the solution.”

“While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once they were in office, this president delivered,” Kushner said. “Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”

Many remarked on the disturbing effect of watching news outlets cover both the ceremony proceedings and violence simultaneously.

Moving the United States’ embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has long been a priority of many American Zionists. The relocation has outraged Palestinians and much of the international community, who warned the move would inflame an already tense situation. Trump has repeatedly characterized the decision as in the “best interests” in pursuit of peace between Israel and Palestine. “It is also the right thing to do. It has to be done,” the president said in his December announcement.

In a press briefing Monday afternoon, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said that responsibility for the violence “rests squarely with Hamas.” Shah added: “This is a gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt.”

This post has been updated to include the White House’s response and an updated death toll.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate