Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Global protests denounce US embassy relocation to Jerusalem al-Quds

Global protests denounce US embassy relocation to Jerusalem al-Quds

As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and thousands more injured in clashes along the Gaza-Israel border catalyzed by the opening of the new USA embassy in Jerusalem.

But French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the "violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters" while European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said "we expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life".

More than 2,700 were hurt, 1,360 by gunfire, the ministry said. According to the Israeli military, the protesters had tossed improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails, burned tires and tried to break the border barriers, which prompted Israeli soldiers to fire at them in response.

"As the Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] said, Israel has the right to defend itself", he added.

"We condemn the involvement of Hamas, a listed terrorist organization".

Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, that saw thousands flee amid the creation of Israel in 1948.

It was unclear whether large crowds would turn up at the border for the climax to the campaign after the heavy fatalities suffered on Monday.

The Palestinian Authority's leader condemned the action as a "massacre" and the United Nations has called it "outrageous human rights violations".

No Israelis were reported killed or injured. Demonstrators gathered at several locations on the fenced enclave's border. A day of mourning and mass funerals was planned Tuesday. Protesters are expected to go to the border later.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is calling for an "impartial, independent investigation" into the military violence that has left dozens dead.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a "state of war" in which global humanitarian law did not apply.

"What a moving day for the people of Israel and the State of Israel", Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

"We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint", he said. "I suggest that he not preach morality to us".

At least 6,000 people converged on Monday in central Istanbul to denounce the inauguration ceremony.

Some have flown kites carrying containers of petrol that have spread fires on the Israeli side.

In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared a general strike on Tuesday after accusing Israel of "massacres".

Monday's violence came as the USA and Israel celebrated the embassy opening, the first official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital after 70 years. The move comes after President Donald Trump recognised the city as Israel's capital in December 2017.

The embassy move is contentious for Palestinians who hope to claim part of Jerusalem as their future capital.

"All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians, to respect worldwide law, avoid incitement to violence and to limit the use of force", Austen said in his statement.

Gates said the prospect of a two-state solution to end the long-simmering conflict is "on life support, barely".

Netanyahu blamed the violence on Gaza's ruling Hamas group. "The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas", said White House spokesman Raj Shah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in lockstep with Trump over fulfilling a long-standing United States promise to move the embassy to the holy city and over the president's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last week, echoed the sentiment.

The Trump administration says it has almost completed a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan but is undecided on how and when to roll it out.

Kuwait's envoy, who requested the meeting, said that Israel was violating worldwide law and that the council needs to offer protection unarmed Palestinians.

Like this: