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Palestinian Protests At Gaza Border Delayed For Funerals For At Least 58 Dead

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinians delayed protesting at the Gaza border fence on Tuesday afternoon as funerals for the at least 58 victims of the previous date’s violence took place.

Of the dead in Monday’s violent demonstrations, one is reported to be a baby who died of inhaling tear gas. At least five of the dead were minors. Some 1,360 Palestinians were wounded by gunfire, including 130 who were in serious or critical condition, the Gaza Health Ministry told Israeli media. Palestinian sources told Israeli media that at least 10 of the dead were Hamas terror operatives.

Some 50,000 Palestinians protested at the border on Monday.

The Hamas terrorist organization, which runs the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday closed protest tents near the Gaza border and called on civilians to not protest, Haaretz reported.

Protests could still take place later Tuesday, following the funerals, according to reports. Israeli troops are prepared for more violent protests, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Tuesday’s delayed demonstrations could grow since May 15 is the annual observation of Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, which mourns Israel gaining statehood and the displacement of the Palestinians. Nakba Day was to be observed and protested on Monday this year, as part of the Great March protests against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

The United Nations Security Council was expected to hold an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss responses to the Gaza border fence clashes. The United States is expected to veto any one-sided resolutions against Israel regarding the clashes, according to Israeli media.

The European Union in a statement issued on Tuesday called for “restraint” on both sides. Tuesday’s statement regarding the violence on the border with Gaza differs from previous statements on protests at the Gaza border by specifically mentioning the terror group Hamas.

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