Thousands have joined funeral processions for some of the dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in a mass march on the Gaza border, as Israelis faced growing diplomatic fallout from the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.
Monday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war there, and was part of a high-stakes campaign by Gaza's Hamas rulers to break a decade-long border blockade.
Israeli forces killed 59 Palestinians, most by gunfire, and injured more than 2,700, Gaza Health Ministry said.
The ministry said that in addition, a 9-month-old girl died from tear gas exposure, but medical officials later cast doubt on that claim, saying the infant had a pre-existing medical condition. It remained unclear Tuesday where and how the child died.
In jarring contrast to the Gaza bloodshed, the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem at the same time Monday, just several dozen miles away.
The juxtaposition of violence on the Gaza border and festivities attended by a high-powered Trump administration delegation — captured on split screens in TV broadcasts around the world — briefly drew attention to the plight of Gaza and its 2 million people.
The opening of the embassy, condemned by Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel, further dimmed prospects of what President Donald Trump had once touted as plans to negotiate the Mideast "deal of the century."
The high casualty toll also revived international criticism of Israel's use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.
Rights groups have said Israel's open-fire orders are unlawful under international humanitarian law.
Israel's military says it is defending its border and has accused the Islamic militant Hamas of using protests as a cover for attacks on the border.
The military has said rubber-coated steel pellets, at times used for non-lethal crowd control, are not effective in preventing Gaza demonstrators from approaching or breaching the border fence.