Pakistan, Turkey to raise voice against Israeli atrocities at world forums

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

Israeli forces shot and killed at least 55 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,200 during mass protests on Monday along the Gaza border, while just a few miles away, Israel and the US held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

He called for renewed and genuine global 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 pronouncements. China called on Israel to show restraint.

But during a UN Security Council meeting, United States ambassador Nikki Haley said: "No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has".

Israel has defended its response, blaming Hamas for fomenting violence and insisting it needed to protect nearby Jewish settlements from protesters getting through the border fence.

He called on Israel to use force proportionally and avoid using deadly force except as a last resort, a message echoed by the council's European members.

Hours after Kushner's speech, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah also claimed that the Palestinian deaths on Monday were "an unfortunate propaganda attempt" by Hamas.

At the protest encampments that dot Gaza's border with Israel, the numbers of demonstrators have dwindled. "The death toll alone warrants such a comprehensive inquiry", British Ambassador Karen Pierce said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must listen to Israel's friends, even if what they say is unsavoury to his ears and doesn't suit the prevalent euphoria caused by the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Canada, along with its major allies, does not support the US embassy move to Jerusalem, saying that's a decision for a future peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis. "The location of the embassy has no bearing on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders".

A draft statement circulated late Monday would have expressed the Security Council's "outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest" and would have called for a "transparent" investigation.

The U.S. blocked it. The protests have been taking place since March, in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel and expulsion of thousands of Palestinians.

"The US has selected one of the most sensitive, one of the most hard issues, to step in and put forward a position that it knows will be significantly damaging to its efforts", said Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian pollster and head of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. He said the plan does not include peacekeeping forces, but he gave few other details.

Tuesday's meeting came amid growing diplomatic fallout from the violence and the US embassy move.

Erdogan, now on a visit to Britain, had on Monday stepped up his rhetoric, accusing Israel of "state terror" and "genocide" over the killings.

Most Gaza protesters stay around tent camps but groups have ventured closer to the border fence, rolling burning tyres and throwing stones.

Worldwide condemnation has poured in over Israel's use of force against unarmed Palestinian protesters.

After a cabinet meeting on the evening of May 14, the government recalled Turkey's ambassadors to Tel Aviv and Washington back "for consultations".

It also reaffirmed United Nations resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, saying that recent events had "no legal effect" under global law. "Why are you paralyzed?"

Eitan Naeh was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry and told to "return to his country for a period of time", said a foreign ministry official who asked not to be named.