Criticism of Israel mounts as Palestinian death toll from Monday’s protests rises to 60

Palestinians protesters carry a wounded protester during clashes near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza Strip, 15 May 2018 (issued 16 May 2018). According to Palestinian medical sources, two Palestinian protesters were shot dead by the Israeli army on 15 May in Gaza, while thousands of Palestinians attended the funerals for some 25 of the 60 protesters killed a day earlier by the Israeli army during mass demonstrations. Palestinians are marking the Nakba Day, or the day of the disaster, when more than 700 thousand Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their villages during the war that led to the creation of the state of Israel on 15 May 1948. Protesters call for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

Criticism of Israel mounts as Palestinian death toll from Monday’s protests rises to 60


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The death toll of Palestinian demonstrators shot on Monday has risen to 60, while the UN estimates 112 have been killed in protests over the last six weeks.

Demonstrations on Monday followed the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Most embassies are located in Tel Aviv.

The opening of the US embassy was timed to coincide with the foundation of the State of Israel, referred to by Palestinians are Nakba (“disaster”). The opening was followed by demonstrations in the outskirts of Gaza, where two million Palestinians live confined since 2007, the majority of whom descend from refugees.

The UN Human Rights Spokesman Rubert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that Israel is violating international law, which clearly states that “lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort and only when there is an immediate threat to life or serious injury.”

The Israeli forces report one lightly wounded soldier as a result of the demonstrations on Monday, which does not seem to indicate an immediate threat to life.

On Tuesday, the Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney summoned the Israeli ambassador in Dublin to express outrage over the Gaza shootings.

To the contrary, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Niki Haley, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that no country would respond with more “restraint” than Israel. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon called on the U.N. Security Council to condemn Hamas.

According to University of Maryland poll, the US decision to move the embassy is deeply divisive 41% approving and 43% disapproving President Trump’s move.

Speaking to reporters prior to the meeting, Danon said that demonstrations are well-organized and well-funded by Hamas.

The British, Dutch, Swedish and Chinese Ambassadors to the UN reiterated their commitment to Jerusalem as the future shared capital of Israel and Palestine and condemned the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

From Brussels, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini said that the move of the US embassy constitutes a violation of international law and Security Council resolutions.

On Wednesday, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UN is expected to circulate a draft resolution calling for the international protection of civilians in Gaza through a peace-keeping force.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Guatemala opened followed Washington’s lead to open its own embassy in Jerusalem.

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