Egypt issued a rare condemnation Monday of Israel’s deadly response to clashes along the border with the Gaza Strip, while Turkey said the United States also bore responsibility for the “massacre” there.
The statement by Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned what it said was “the use of force against peaceful marches.”
After months of global outcry, the United States officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday with an inauguration ceremony.
This move sparked violent protests and Gaza’s health ministry has said that 58 Palestinians have been killed and 2,400 injured by Israeli forces yesterday.
Two-thirds of the United Nations Security Council expressed “profound concern” on Monday that a 2016 resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on land that Palestinians want for an independent state was not being implemented.
A letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from 10 members of the 15-member council coincided with the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014. Israeli troops fatally shot dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border as the Trump administration opened the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.
“The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system,” wrote Bolivia, China, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Sweden in the letter seen by Reuters.
The White House on Monday blamed Hamas for deadly violence on Israel’s border with Gaza where Israeli troops fatally shot at least 55 Palestinian protesters.White House spokesman Raj Shah accused Hamas‘ leaders of making a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt” that led to the clashes in Gaza at the same time the United States was opening its new embassy in Jerusalem, a move that has fueled Palestinian anger.”The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas,” Shah said. “Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to criticism over its army’s conduct in Gaza and said it acted in self-defence by firing at protestors. “The Hamas terrorist organisation declares it intends to destroy Israel and send thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.”We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “massacres” against Palestinian protesters in Gaza as he called for three days of mourning. He also said the opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem meant it was “no longer a meditator in the Middle East.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide” after Israeli forces killed at least 55 Palestinians on the Gaza border. “Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state,” Erdogan told Turkish students in London in a speech broadcast by state television. “What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America,” he added. Erdogan withdrew the Turkish ambassadors from Israel and the USA. South Africa also recalled its ambassador to Israel on Monday. “Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” the South African foreign ministry said in a statement.
The German government on Monday expressed sharp concern about reports that dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in Gaza while taking part in mass protests, urging Israel to refrain from using live munitions except as a last resort. “The right to peaceful protest must also apply in Gaza,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. “Israel has the right to defend itself and secure its (border) fence against violent intrusions, but the principle of proportionality applies.” That meant that live munitions should only be used when other, weaker forms of deterrences had proven unsuccessful and specific threats were present, the spokeswoman added.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the violence against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza in a statement released late on Monday and reiterated his opposition to the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Macron talked with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday and is planning to talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, the presidency said.