At least 37 Palestinians have been killed and more than 500 wounded in protests at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel on the same day the US fulfils its controversial promise to move its embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
Thousands of demonstrators set fire to tyres on Monday, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air to deter Israeli snipers.
The Israeli military said the protests were being used as cover for attacks on soldiers.
It is the deadliest single day of protests in a weeks-long campaign from Hamas in the run up to the US embassy move and the Nakba, or ‘Catastrophe’, on Tuesday – celebrated in Israel as the country’s 70th birthday.
The order given to Israeli soldiers was to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel at any price, including direct live fire.
aIsrael has also warned Hamas that any mass breakthrough will result in air strikes on the group’s infrastructure inside the Strip.