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Over 59 killed in Gaza protests against Israel planned

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – Fresh protests were expected Tuesday a day after Israeli forces killed 59 Palestinians during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the US embassy opening in Jerusalem in the conflict’s bloodiest day in years.

Palestinians on Tuesday mark 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 comes a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned.

Most of the 59 Gazans who died 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.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya vowed protests in Gaza would continue on Tuesday. Hamas’s armed wing and other militant groups “will not prolong their silence over the crimes of the occupation”, he said.

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.

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