A Palestinian baby girl has been suffocated to death after she inhaled Israeli tear gas amid a massacre of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli troops along the Gaza border protesting against the highly provocative move of US Donald Trump in relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Gaza Health Ministry announced the shocking news on Tuesday, saying eight-month-old Leila al-Ghandour was exposed to the gas east of Gaza City during major protesting rallies a day earlier, in which it said as many as 60 Palestinians, including eight children, lost their lives, most of them by Israeli sniper fire.
Some reports said that the infant was with her family in a tent when Israeli tear gas canisters, fired overnight, enveloped the area with a thick blanket of stifling gas. It was, however, not immediately clear how close to the border fence Ghandour and her family were.
An array of powerful images released in social media earlier in the day showed mourning relatives of Leila, including her mother and Father, at the morgue of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, as they were crying and hugging the lifeless body of their beloved for the last time.
The relocation of the US embassy, which has so far drawn international condemnations, was carried out five months after Trump recognized the holy city as the “capital” of Israel, promising to move the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to the city.
The decision sparked outrage among Palestinians, who want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. Israel, on the other hand, lays claim over the whole city as its “capital.”
In the hours leading up to the inauguration, Israeli troops engaged in clashes with Palestinian protesters, some 2,500 of them sustained injuries, either through direct shooting or firing tear gas canisters.
The Monday toll is so far the highest in a single day since a series of protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes began on March 30.
The embassy inauguration also coincides with the climax of a six-week demonstration on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), May 15, when Israel was created. Some 50 Palestinian protesters had also been killed in clashes with Israeli forces until Monday, during demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30.
The regime in Tel Aviv has already launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Furthermore, the Israeli regime has imposed increasing power cuts and shortages in fuel in the sliver, hugely disrupting water and sanitation services. Medicines and health equipment are also in dire short supply, straining an already fragile health system.