Israel must respect right to peaceful protest in Gaza

Clay Curtis
May 16, 2018

"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has", she said. "The Palestinian right to peaceful protest is undeniable, but at the same time, we are deeply concerned that peaceful protests in Gaza are being exploited by extremist elements".

A total of 114 Palestinians have been killed since March 30 while only one Israeli soldier has been reported wounded.

Britain's minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, acknowledged "Israel's right to defend its borders" but said "the large volume of live fire is extremely concerning".

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Tuesday is what Palestinians call their "nakba" anniversary, or catastrophe marking the creation of Israel 70 years ago.

Because Jerusalem is claimed by both Israel and Palestine, the occasion sparked fatal protests in the Gaza strip.

Palestinian officials said that, as well as those killed, about 2,700 people were injured in Monday's violence - which they condemned as a massacre. They wanted to help the many wounded in Monday's violence. "Many of them, shot hundreds of metres from the border, and many of them, children".

"Turkish protesters hold placards that read " Free Palestine" and " Struggle to return back home continue for 70 years " as they stage a protest near the USA embassy in Ankara, Turkey, May 15, 2018.

"We have no side here, except with the victims", he said, calling for an investigation into why so much live ammunition was used.

It comes as the United States inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial step by the Trump administration that broke with decades of United States policy and incensed Palestinians.

"As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution", he said.

"We Palestinians realize that the United States, with its current policy, is our main enemy who fully supports Israel".

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When asked about possible peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians - and the timing of the most recent White House contact with Palestinian leaders - Shah said, "Well, I don't honestly have an answer for you on that".

What happened at the Gaza border?

Palestinian protesters have hurled stones and incendiary devices and approached the border fence, which Israel has declared a no-go zone, on foot.

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu sought to justify the military action.

Mr Netanyahu defended his military, saying: "Every country has an obligation to defend its borders". The group has led weekly protests near the border with Israel since late March.

Shapiro criticized the media's "attempt" to link the violence with the embassy's opening.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, at least fifty-five Palestinians have been martyred and over 2700 injured in clashes with Israeli troops in the wake of opening of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

"We will cross the border and impose new realities like the reality Trump imposed in Jerusalem", he added, referring to President Donald Trump's decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and then move the US Embassy there.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, called the new embassy "a United States settlement in East Jerusalem". It is home to about 1.8 million Palestinians, making it the third most densely populated place in the world.

Egypt administered Gaza for the next 19 years but Israel occupied it in the 1967 Arab-Israel war.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but still maintains control of its air and maritime space. The group has ties to both Iran and Saudi Arabia, but is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the European Union. She Pompeo said sadly they could not, as the decision has already been made.

Monday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war there, and was part of a high-stakes campaign by Gaza's Hamas rulers to break a decade-long border blockade.

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