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Israeli violence against Palestinians in Gaza protests meets with regional, int’l uproar

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Israeli violence against Palestinians in Gaza protests meets with regional, int’l uproar

CAIRO (Xinhua) — The recent Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters on Israeli borders with the Gaza Strip has met with both regional and international condemnation and uproar.

At least 63 Palestinians have been killed and about 2,800 wounded in confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians, mostly from the Gaza enclave, who protested against the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputable holy city of Jerusalem.

The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) strongly condemned in a statement on Tuesday the Israeli “massacres” against unarmed Palestinian protesters, describing the Israeli aggression as rising to the level of “war crimes.”

“The fall of tens of Palestinian martyrs in the marches of heroism and freedom should move the world’s conscience,” AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said in the statement.

He called on the international community to “provide protection for the Palestinian people who have chosen the peaceful path of struggle but met by brutality, violence and murder.”

Israel is the regional number one ally of the United States, whose President Donald Trump has recognized the debatable city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city despite regional and international outcry.

The AL chief considered the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem as “a green light for Israel to kill the Palestinian people,” slamming the Israeli use of “reckless force” against Palestinian protesters.

The Palestinian protests on Monday coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence, one day before the Palestinian “Nakba (Catastrophe) Day,” which marks the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians from their homes to become refugees in 1948.

Monday’s victims raised the death toll of Palestinians to 112 since Palestinian protesters started their “Great March of Return” in late March to mark the 42nd anniversary of the “Land Day,” demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The Egyptian parliament warned Tuesday against the Israeli continuous violation of the charters and resolutions of international legitimacy, referring to the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters as a “new Nakba.”

“Egypt considers the Palestinian cause the key to stability and peace in the region,” Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said, adding that all attempts to blur Jerusalem’s Arab and Islamic identity are “doomed to failure.”

He said that the U.S. “unstudied” embassy relocation decision “nourishes the environment of instability and undermines chances for peace.”

The Palestinians seek to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital city in the light of the UN-proposed two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders.

The African Union (AU) also condemned Tuesday Israel’s “disproportionate use of force,” stressing that the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem can only further heighten tensions in the region and complicate the search for a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The AU affirms solidarity with the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, said in a statement.

The AU chief called for “renewed and genuine international efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, based on the existence of two states, Israel and Palestine, within the framework of the relevant United Nations pronouncement.”

South Africa withdrew Monday its ambassador to Israel immediately and until further notice over the Israeli “violent aggression” against “peaceful civilians” in Gaza Strip.

On the other hand, Turkey expelled Tuesday the Israeli ambassador to Ankara a day after it recalled Turkish envoys in Tel Aviv and Washington for consultations over the Israeli killings of Palestinian protesters.

Israel replied with expelling the Turkish consul general in Jerusalem Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority also recalled its top envoy in Washington Tuesday over the U.S. embassy move and the consequent Israeli killings of Palestinian protesters.

Meanwhile, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in the capital Sanaa Tuesday to protest against the recent Israeli violence and the U.S. embassy relocation to Jerusalem.

Similar marches were held Tuesday by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon side by side with Lebanese citizens to mark the Nakba Day that led to the creation of Israel 70 years ago and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland.

Internationally, the UN Security Council is currently holding an emergency meeting called for by Kuwait where several representatives of member states expressed condemnation of the recent Israeli aggression and called for a probe into the Israeli attacks in Gaza.

The UN Human Rights Council also decided Tuesday to hold a special session on Friday to discuss “the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described Tuesday what happened in Gaza a day earlier as “a terrible tragedy,” adding that “this only shows how important it is to have a political solution.”

In Europe, the Irish government summoned the Israeli ambassador to Dublin to express the Irish government’s and people’s outrage and dismay at the recent events in Gaza.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that his government is “profoundly shocked” at the killings and injuries in Gaza, while some leading politicians and lawmakers urged for sending the Israeli ambassador home and recalling the Irish one.

Belgium’s Foreign Ministry summoned Tuesday the Israeli ambassador after the latter indicated that all the Palestinians killed in Monday’s violence were “terrorists.”

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday he was “shocked” by the remarks of Israeli ambassador Simona Frankel over Monday’s confrontations, calling for a UN-led investigation over the Israeli violence against Gazans.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone on Tuesday her concern over the violence in Gaza, yet she said that “Germany understands Israel’s security needs,” according to her office.

French President Emmanuel Macron has already slammed on Monday the violence of Israeli armed forces against Palestinian protesters and reiterated France’s disapproval of the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem.

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