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At Least 18 Protesters Killed By Isaeli Fire. Say Gaza Officials

A Palestinian demonstrator reacts during a protest on May 14 against the U.S. Embassy's move to Jerusalem.

At least 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Army fire near the Gaza border on May 14, Gaza's Health Ministry said.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which has been ruling Gaza since 2007, has led mass protests over the past six weeks aimed at breaking a decade-old Israeli blockade of the territory. A total of 58 people were killed since the start of the protests.

A majority of the territory's 2 million inhabitants are descendants of refugees, and the protests have been dubbed the "Great March of Return" to homes in what is now the state of Israel.

The ministry said that at least 500 people were wounded -- many of them by live fire -- in the mass protests, which on May 14 were also directed at the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, scheduled for that date.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced earlier this year that the United States was recognizing divided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of U.S. policy.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and declared the entire city as its capital, a move not recognized by the international community.

Based on reporting by AP, APF, dpa, and Reuters