AT least 41 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire amid huge protests along the border with Gaza today.
More than 900 more are reported to have been wounded in what is already the bloodiest day in the country since 2014.
Loudspeakers on Gaza mosques urged Palestinians to join protests as the US embassy prepares to officially make its controversial move to Jerusalem.
Demonstrators clashed with border guards on what was also the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, as warplanes struck what Israel called a Hamas post in northern Gaza.
Black smoke from burning tyres rose into the air at the border, as activists tried to use the cloud as cover from snipers.
Masked protesters hurled stones towards the border fences as Israeli troops fired volleys of tear gas and live bullets back into the crowds.
Demonstrators also used kites to drop Molotov cocktails on Israeli forces – who in turn used drones to hit protesters with tear gas.
At least 41 Palestinians – including a 14-year-old boy – have so far been killed today.
More than 900 more have been wounded by Israeli fire, Palestinian health officials said.
The bloodshed makes today the deadliest since a devastating 2014 cross-border war.
Gaza science teacher Ali, who declined to give his last name, today said: “Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell Israel and the world we will not accept being occupied forever.
“Many may get martyred today, so many.
“But the world will hear our message – occupation must end.”
The border area has seen daily protests against a decade-old blockade of the territory for the last two weeks.
But today’s demonstration – on the day of the embassy move – is by far the biggest yet.
Today’s deaths bring the total of Palestinians killed during the protests over the last two weeks to 86.
No Israeli casualties have been reported.
The killings have drawn international criticism but the US has echoed Israel in accusing Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement of instigating violence.
In a statement, the Israeli army said troops had shot and killed three Palestinians who attempted to plant a bomb along the fence.
It also said an aircraft had targeted a Hamas post in northern Gaza after Israeli troops came under fire.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the army had set up additional “layers” of security in and around communities near the border to defend Israeli civilians.
He said there already had been several “significant attempts” to break through the fence.
Cornicus said: “Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them.”
Israeli leaders and a US delegation including Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, are today attending the opening of the new embassy.
Heartache of Alfie Evans’s dad as he takes tragic son on final journey
MH370 pilot ‘deliberately avoided radar’ so doomed plane was never found
First pic of fisherman winched off trawler after shark bite off Cornish coast
‘THIS IS FOR MY KIDS’
Brit dad sues Nokia for £1m claiming heavy use of phone caused tumour
Gunman attempts to rob mums outside school – but one’s an off-duty cop
JAMIE SUGAR CHUMP
Jamie Oliver’s website features milkshake recipe 6 times the sugar limit
The decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem was controversial because both Israel and Palestine claim the city as their capital.
When Trump announced the move in December, it was seen by many has a setback to the peace process.
It sparked widespread protests across the Muslim world and fears of more unrest in the Middle East, with Arab leaders blasting the decision.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.