LONDON: Kuwait, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after the Israeli army killed dozens of Palestinians during protests in Gaza.
“We condemned what has happened,” the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United Nations, Mansour Al-Otaibi, told journalists. “We will see what the council will do.”
He said he was consulting with the Arab Group at the UN and with the Palestinian ambassador to the world body.
Dozens of Palestinians were killed Monday by Israeli troops in Gaza along its border with Israel, as thousands protested the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, in the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war with Israel.The head of the United Nations says he is worried about the news coming from Gaza, “with the high number of people killed.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his concerns Monday in Vienna, as clashes were taking place along the Israeli-Palestinian border and senior aides to US President Donald Trump were in Jerusalem celebrating the opening of the new US embassy there.
Guterres said, “I’m particularly worried about the news coming from Gaza with the high number of people killed.”
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the council Monday to condemn the killings. Speaking to reporters, Mansour called the Israel military response a “savage onslaught” and an “atrocity.”
The council held an emergency meeting when the protests began in March. Members then urged restraint on both sides but couldn’t agree on any action or joint message.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “utmost restraint.”
“Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed and hundreds injured from Israeli fire today, during ongoing mass protests near the Gaza fence. We expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life,” Mogherini said in a statement.
“Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force. Hamas and those leading the demonstrations in Gaza must ensure that they remain strictly non-violent and must not exploit them for other means.”
Former Italian foreign minister Mogherini urged both sides to return to negotiations, saying that the European Union remained committed to its role in trying to foster peace in the region.
She warned that “any further escalation of an already extremely tense and complex situation would cause again further unspeakable sufferings to both peoples, and will make the perspective of peace and security even more remote.”
The world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations says it “strongly rejects and condemns” the White House’s “deplorable action” to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation said it considers the US move an “illegal decision” and “an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people.” The organization said the move Monday also represents “an affront to international peace and security.”
The OIC said the US administration has “expressed utter disdain and disrespect to Palestinian legitimate rights and international law” and shown disregard toward the sentiments of Muslims, who value Jerusalem as home to one of Islam’s holiest sites, the Al-Aqsa mosque complex.
An official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the targeting of unarmed Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries.
The source stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to stop the violence and protect the Palestinian people, reiterating the Kingdom’s steadfastness toward the Palestinian cause and restoring their legitimate rights in accordance with the resolutions of international laws and the Arab peace initiative.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International said the bloodshed along Gaza’s border with Israel is an “abhorrent violation” of human rights.
“We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law and human rights in Gaza.... This must end immediately,” the London-based human rights group said on Twitter.
The rights group said hundreds of people had been injured “with live ammunition” and that many were reporting injuries to the head and chest.
“This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes,” Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said in a separate statement.
“As violence continues to spiral out of control, the Israeli authorities must immediately rein in the military to prevent the further loss of life and serious injuries.”
“The rising toll of deaths and injuries today only serves to highlight the urgent need for an arms embargo,” Luther added.
“While some protesters may have engaged in some form of violence, this still does not justify the use of live ammunition.”