International community condemns Israeli violence against Gaza protesters

  • Pakistan has expressed grave concerns over the shifting of the US embassy to Jerusalem
  • The US, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government: Turkey
  • Israel was using force against peaceful marches: Egypt

LAHORE – The leaders across the globe have condemned the deadly attacks on the Palestinian protesters along the Gaza strip, which left 58 dead and injured 2,700 others.

Monday’s violence came as the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, which has irked Palestinians, who claim the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Defending the latest spasm of violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his military had acted in self-defence against Gaza’s Islamist rulers, Hamas.

Tensions are likely to prevail as funeral prayers for the deceased are taking place on Tuesday; the day also marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, which prompted a mass exodus as Israel was being created in 1948.

Egypt issues rare condemnation

Egypt issued a rare condemnation Monday, about Israel’s deadly response to clashes along the border.

The statement by Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned what it said was “the use of force against peaceful marches.”

It also warned of the negative repercussion of such serious escalation in the Palestinian occupied territories.

Turkey holds US responsible

Turkey said the United States also bore responsibility for the “massacre” in Palestine, condemning it strongly.

“The United States, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government in this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.

Yildirim said that the events were “incompatible” with the US acting as a mediator or protector of world peace.

Russia condemns embassy move

The arch-rival of the United States, Russia joined in the condemnation of the embassy move, saying it will inflame tensions in the region.

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov called the decision “short-sighted.”

Pakistan expresses grave concerns

Pakistan has expressed grave concerns over the shifting of the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a move that escalated tension in the region causing the death of over 50 Palestinians in Israeli forces’ firing along Gaza border.

As the United States ending its decades-long policy on Israel-Palestinian issue opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the Foreign Office issued a statement saying: “Pakistan has noted with grave concern that despite calls by the international community to comply with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the two-state solution, US is moving its Embassy to the Holy City of Jerusalem”.

UN expresses concern

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the brutal clashes.

“I’m particularly worried about the news coming from Gaza with the high number of people killed,” he said as the UN Security Council prepared to hold an emergency meeting to debate the ongoing violence.

Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN condemns attacks

“We condemned what has happened,” the Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN, Mansour al-Otaibi, told journalists.

“We will see what the council will do. Today or tomorrow we may ask for an emergency meeting,” he added

European Union calls for restraints

European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini issued a statement calling for “restraint” from both sides to avoid further loss of life.

“Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force. Hamas and those leading the demonstrations in Gaza must ensure that they remain strictly non-violent and must not exploit them for other means.”

Amnesty International decries violation of human rights

Amnesty International said the high death toll of Palestinians was an “abhorrent violation” of human rights.

“We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law and human rights in Gaza… This must end immediately,” the London-based human rights group said on Twitter.

South Africa recalls its ambassador

The South African government has decided to recall its ambassador to Israel after issuing a harsh condemnation of “Israeli armed forces’ violent aggression on the Gaza border.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that the ambassador has indeed been called back on Monday night.

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation said that the Gazan casualties were “taking part in a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.”

UN Security Council to meet on Gaza

The United Nations Security Council will convene an emergency meeting at Kuwait’s behest for an emergency discussion on the Gaza riots and the US Embassy’s move.

Irish Foreign Minister vows to stop killings

The Foreign Minister of Ireland, Simon Coveney vowed Monday to stop killings, adding that the move “is inflaming already a very tense situation and the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians.”

US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, setting off protests by Palestinians who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The tensions mounted on Monday with crowds in Gaza swelling to an estimated 30,000 by 2:30 p.m., 90 minutes before the new US embassy was slated to officially open in the Arnona neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

At least 58 people have been killed by the Israeli military, the largest number of fatalities suffered in one day since the latest round of protests began more than six weeks ago.