In a graphic demonstration of disregard for the lives and rights of Palestinians, a smiling Ivanka Trump welcomed Israeli dignitaries to the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, while, just 60 miles away in Gaza, Israel’s armed forces shot hundreds of Palestinian protesters, killing at least 60.

As American officials, including President Donald Trump’s former bankruptcy lawyer, Ambassador David Friedman, offered the new embassy to Israel as a sort of gift to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, thousands of Palestinians came under fire from Israeli snipers for demanding the right to return to homes that their families were forced to abandon in 1948.

More than two-thirds of the Palestinians confined to Gaza are refugees from towns and cities in what is now Israel. The protests along Israel’s perimeter fence that began on March 30 — and were immediately met with lethal force — are intended to draw attention to what Palestinians refer to as the “nakba,” or catastrophe, of Israel’s founding, which led to the forcible displacement of some 750,000 Palestinians.

“Choosing a tragic day in Palestinian history shows great insensibility and disrespect for the core principles of the peace process,” said Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in a statement.

The death toll on Monday means that Israel has now killed more than 90 Palestinians in the past six weeks for approaching the fence it placed around Gaza, surpassing the total number of East Germans shot and killed for trying to scale the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989.

As the Trump administration signaled its full embrace of the ultranationalist Israeli position, Palestinian-American activists suggested that news coverage of the massacre in Gaza was biased against the protesters.

In remarks at the embassy ceremony, Trump’s son-in-law and novice peace envoy, Jared Kushner, blamed Palestinian protesters — not the Israeli snipers who gunned them down: “As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

Kushner also praised his father-in-law for keeping a campaign promise made to supporters of Israel.

The sense that Trump had taken a major foreign policy decision mainly for domestic political reasons was underscored by the front-row seats awarded to Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to both his campaign and those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At a party the night before the ceremony, Adelson and his Israeli-born wife, Miriam, described themselves as “euphoric” over Trump’s decision to effectively recognize Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, which it seized by military force in 1967.

“This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege,” the Israeli-American writer Mairav Zonszein wrote in +972, a digital magazine with contributors in Israel and Palestine. “And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it.”

“The overwhelming majority of the Jewish Israeli population has not spoken out,” Zonszein added. “According to an Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index poll from April, 83 percent of Jewish Israelis find the IDF’s open fire policy in Gaza ‘appropriate.’ Just hours after the massacre, thousands went out into the streets to celebrate the Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in Tel Aviv.”

In Jerusalem and Washington, hundreds of young Jewish activists from the groups If Not Now and All That’s Left did protest Trump’s decision to ignore Palestinian claims and move the U.S. embassy before the final status of the city has been negotiated.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which monitors conditions for Palestinians living under military rule in the territories Israel has occupied since 1967, denounced the killings. “The fact that live gunfire is once again the sole measure that the Israeli military is using in the field evinces appalling indifference towards human life on the part of senior Israeli government and military officials,” the group said in a statement. “B’Tselem calls for an immediate halt to the killing of Palestinian demonstrators. If the relevant officials do not issue an order to stop the lethal fire, the soldiers in the field must refuse to comply with these manifestly unlawful open-fire orders.”

As Palestinians in Gaza buried their dead and prepared to protest again on Tuesday, Daniel Seidemann, a Jerusalem peace activist, suggested that America’s full capitulation to Israeli extremists had dealt a further blow to dreams of a two-state solution to the conflict — making a single, binational state inevitable.

Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 6:27 a.m. EDT
This post was updated with a revised death toll as more Palestinians shot by Israeli snipers during protests on Monday died of their wounds.

Top photo: Ivanka Trump and Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury secretary, welcomed Israeli dignitaries to the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.