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Jerusalem and Gaza -- A world apart

There is a growing canyon between Israelis and Palestinians. They live right next to each other, but couldn't be fart...

Posted: May 15, 2018 12:51 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 12:51 PM

There is a growing canyon between Israelis and Palestinians. They live right next to each other, but couldn't be farther apart. At no time is that on clearer, starker display than this week.

In Gaza, at least 55 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces, including one boy who was 14 years old, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders ceremoniously hosted an American delegation to officially open the US embassy.

In Gaza, 35,000 Palestinians protested in 12 different locations, burning tires, hurling stones, and flying burning kites. In Jerusalem, American and Israeli flags were projected on the walls of the Old City with the message "Thank you President Trump."

In Gaza, tear gas, mixing with the acrid smoke of burning tires, fell from Israeli drones trying to disperse crowds racing toward the border fence. In Jerusalem, President Donald Trump aired a pre-recorded message hailing the United States as a partner "for freedom and peace."

A mere 80 kilometers separates Jerusalem from Gaza, a two-hour drive with traffic. And yet they are worlds apart.

The official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, in a move Trump promised in his campaign, marked the apex of Israel's month. Last week, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal at the urging of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This week, an American delegation led by Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner hailed the strongest-ever ties between Israel and the US.

Netanyahu gushed with joy, saying, "What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful."

Guatemala will move its embassy to Jerusalem this week, and Paraguay will follow suit later this month.

In what's almost a caricature of how well this week has gone for Israel, the country won the Eurovision song contest with Netta Barzilai's "Toy." It was another reason for Israelis -- and Netanyahu -- to celebrate.

And it's not over yet. A royal visit from Prince William is expected at the end of next month, the first in 70 years.

Israelis, it seems, have every reason to be elated.

"When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth," Kushner, a senior adviser to the President as well as Trump's son-in-law, said in Jerusalem Monday afternoon.

Especially on this day, peace couldn't be further away.

Just as US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was taking the stage in Jerusalem to officially begin the ceremony to inaugurate the embassy in Jerusalem, the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza was rising quickly.

By the end of the day, that number would reach 55, making it the single deadliest day since the end of the 2014 Gaza war.

The Israeli military said it would use live fire only as a last resort, attempting to use tear gas and water cannons to try to disperse crowds before they reached the border fence. Israel blames Hamas for fueling and funding the protests, accusing the group of trying to use the demonstrations as cover for carrying out terrorist attacks.

The military dropped leaflets, urging Palestinians to stay away from the border.

That border became a sharp line between life and death for dozens of Palestinians. Thousands more were injured; no Israeli soldiers have been wounded or killed since these protests began more than six weeks ago.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi called on the international community to stop "Israel's ongoing massacre in Gaza," while asking the International Criminal Court for an investigation into what she called "Israel's gross violations and flagrant war crimes."

On TV news channels, images from Gaza played alongside pictures of the embassy ceremony in Jerusalem, a jarring juxtaposition of protests against applause, screams against speeches, and anger against celebration.

Slamming the embassy move, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said, "This infamous hostile act against international law and against the people of Palestine places the US on the side of the occupying power, Israel, which continues to oppress the Palestinian people and to colonize their lands towards destroying the very possibility of reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting peace."

So many leaders mentioned peace on Monday. American. Israeli. Palestinian. Trump. Netanyahu. Erekat.

They were all talking about the same idea. They just weren't talking to each other.

The age of the Palestinian teenager killed Monday has been updated to reflect the latest information from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94021

Reported Deaths: 2846
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7017157
DeSoto544859
Harrison378073
Jackson341869
Madison321886
Rankin320276
Lee263368
Jones243878
Forrest240971
Washington218671
Lafayette211639
Lauderdale2015124
Bolivar179765
Oktibbeha175950
Lamar163934
Neshoba1548104
Panola144927
Sunflower142945
Lowndes141257
Warren138250
Leflore137781
Pontotoc124116
Pike121749
Monroe119966
Scott116825
Copiah116433
Coahoma113627
Holmes109458
Marshall108015
Lincoln107353
Grenada106835
Yazoo104130
Simpson101544
Union98324
Tate95837
Leake94138
Adams92236
Wayne87721
Pearl River86952
Marion84234
Prentiss82617
Covington80822
Itawamba78021
Alcorn77611
Tallahatchie76221
Newton76123
George75513
Winston73119
Tishomingo66537
Chickasaw66224
Tippah65017
Attala64325
Walthall59525
Clay58217
Hancock56921
Clarke56342
Jasper55915
Noxubee54515
Smith52614
Calhoun50712
Tunica48113
Montgomery45821
Claiborne45616
Lawrence42712
Yalobusha41914
Perry41318
Quitman3755
Humphreys37415
Stone36012
Greene35417
Webster33213
Jefferson Davis32911
Amite31410
Carroll31412
Wilkinson30118
Kemper28615
Sharkey26313
Jefferson2439
Benton2232
Franklin1913
Choctaw1806
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131988

Reported Deaths: 2304
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19230342
Mobile13192291
Montgomery8711175
Madison767475
Tuscaloosa7355114
Lee576560
Shelby576550
Baldwin512449
Marshall388943
Calhoun339040
Etowah338447
Morgan322626
Houston275322
Elmore258647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair225535
Walker225080
Talladega209927
Limestone202119
Cullman186819
Dallas176226
Franklin174828
Russell17302
Autauga171425
Lauderdale166233
Colbert162126
Blount157314
Escambia157325
Jackson152711
Chilton151328
Dale134143
Covington133427
Coffee12898
Pike11729
Chambers114042
Tallapoosa113984
Clarke106317
Marion95228
Butler91138
Barbour8487
Winston71812
Marengo70219
Lowndes65127
Pickens63914
Bibb63510
Randolph62413
Hale61628
Lawrence60320
Bullock59314
Geneva5844
Monroe5798
Cherokee57516
Clay5537
Washington54913
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52532
Henry4805
Macon47920
Fayette4299
Sumter42319
Lamar3552
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3346
Greene30215
Coosa1673
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