FG condemns killing of 58 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al Zahar speaks to Al Jazeera

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al Zahar speaks to Al Jazeera

Putin and Erdogan also discussed the Syrian settlement and Russian-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector. The protests were led by Hamas, but fueled by the growing despair among Gaza's 2 million people who face worsening poverty, unemployment, 22-hour-a-day power cuts and sweeping bans on travel and trade. Critics fear that moving the U.S. Embassy is an effective endorsement of Israeli claims that the city will be the "undivided" capital of Israel, despite the fact that 300,000 Palestinians, who are deprived of basic civil and human rights, live in East Jerusalem.

Demonstrations have been taking place at the border fence for the past seven weeks, as part of a protest branded the "Great March of Return".

Dramatic pictures taken during the conflict between Israeli and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip before agreeing to a United Nations request for a pause in fighting while efforts proceeded to secure a long-term ceasefire.

Guatemala festively opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, becoming the second country to do so after the United States, and giving Israel a diplomatic boost as it faces worldwide criticism for the deadly violence on the Gaza border.

The death toll appeared to deter a second day of protests that had been expected Tuesday to mark 70 years since Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes with Israel's establishment.

But in Europe, several European Union nations summoned Israeli ambassadors to express concern over what many view as excessive force by Israeli troops against unarmed Palestinian civilians.

Israel, with United States backing, says Hamas is behind the protests, deliberately provoking violence for propaganda aims.

Last week, the Israeli government claimed the ongoing border protests constituted a "state of war" in which global humanitarian law does not apply.

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Netanyahu profusely praised Guatemala for making the move and noted that it came only two days after the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

"This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel", he said.

Israel said many of those killed were members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror groups who were using the violent protests as cover to carry out attacks and damage the border fence.

While some members said the U.N.'s most powerful body needed to speak as one to try to calm the volatile situation - and the Palestinian envoy implored, "When are you going to act?" - a proposed statement had stalled Monday after the US blocked it.

There has been little Israeli domestic dissent at the lethal tactics around Gaza, where in the past decade Israel has fought three wars against Hamas.

The Israeli military has come under heavy global criticism for firing on unarmed protesters, and faces accusations of using disproportionate force.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state in the two-state solution, which would be established in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli gunfire "will never make us lose hope to get back our land", said Mohamed Abu el-Majd, 23, whose left leg was fractured.

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