White House blames Hamas for Gaza deaths

White House blames Hamas for Gaza deaths

Britain has no plans to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and still disagrees with the US decision to do so, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Monday.

Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said during a White House press briefing that the violence against Palestinian protesters was a "gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt" by Hamas.

A reporter contrasted violence along the border of Israel in Gaza on Monday with the "celebratory air in Jerusalem" as the new USA embassy opened there that same day.

The deaths brought to 79 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers firing from across the border fence since mass border protests began in late March. Netanyahu claimed that Israeli forces were merely defending their borders when they opened fire on the Palestinian demonstrators. He also said the "large volume of live fire" used by Israeli forces was "extremely concerning".

Follow the White House press briefing
White House calls deaths in Gaza 'propaganda' by Hamas

The White House said the Jewish state had the right to defend itself.

Clerics and leaders of militant factions in Gaza, led by Hamas, urged Palestinians to join the demonstrations after midday prayers, The New York Times reported.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "glorious" day.

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