Nations all around the globe react to controversial US embassy move and Israeli violence in Gaza that killed at least 58 Palestinians. World leaders and the governments call on Tel Aviv to stop killings.

A picture taken on May 14, 2018 near Gaza, shows tear gas canisters launched by Israeli security forces falling down on Palestinian protestors gathering in Gaza.
A picture taken on May 14, 2018 near Gaza, shows tear gas canisters launched by Israeli security forces falling down on Palestinian protestors gathering in Gaza. ( AFP )

Several countries have condemned or voiced concern over Israel’s violence against Palestinian protesters on the day the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

At least 58 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed on Monday and hundreds more injured by Israeli army forces deployed along the area bordering Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

"This is genocide no matter where it comes from, either Israel or the United States," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

“Israel is a terrorist state,” said Erdogan, speaking to scholarship students in London. “We will continue to stand with Palestinian people with determination.” 

“We will not allow today to be the day The Muslim world loses Jerusalem. We condemn this humanitarian tragedy, this genocide, no matter where it comes from, either Israel or the United States,” Erdogan said. He also announced that Ankara is recalling its ambassador to the US.

"Shocked by deaths"

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the violence in Gaza, the French presidency said on Monday, adding that he will talk to all involved parties in the region over the next few days.

"France is condemning the violence," the presidency said in a statement.

"The president will talk to all key players in the region over the next few days."

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that “dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed from Israeli fire today”, without condemning the violence.

“Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force,” Mogherini added.

The British Prime Minister office also expressed concern over the violence in Gaza in a statement.

“We are concerned by the reports of violence and loss of life in Gaza,” the statement read.

Germany said it was “shocked and deeply concerned” by the reports concerning the protests in Gaza, in which dozens of people were killed or injured.

The German foreign ministry stopped short of condemning Israel in a statement released on Monday evening, but urged authorities to stop using live ammunition against peaceful protestors.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and to secure the fence against violent incursion. However, the principle of proportionality applies. That includes only using live ammunition when other, less forceful methods of deterrence do not work and in cases of concrete threats,” the ministry said.

Berlin underlined that people in Gaza Strip has a right to carry out peaceful protests, but also warned against inflammatory moves.

“At the same time, we have always made clear that this right must not be abused, taken as a pretext or exploited in order to escalate the situation, deploy violence or incite others to do so,” the statement said.

UNSC meeting

Qatar decried Monday’s violence as a “massacre”, condemning the Israeli army’s “systematic murder” of Palestinians near the blockaded Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.

Lulwah al Khater, a spokesperson for Qatar's Foreign Ministry, said her country was “calling on all regional and international powers to pressure Israel to stop the killing”.

Kuwait has requested a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to discuss continuing violence along the Gaza-Israel border, diplomats said on Monday.

"We condemned what has happened," the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United Nations, Mansour al Otaibi, told journalists.

Kuwait is a non-permanent council member. The meeting is set to begin at 1400 GMT, diplomats said.

"Serious escalation"

The Russian and Egyptian foreign ministers who were both in Moscow slammed the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday.

Russia has evaluated the US decision negatively several times, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov said in a joint news conference in Moscow.

"One cannot in such a way, unilaterally, revise the agreements, fixed in decisions made by the international community," he said.

"The determination of the status of Jerusalem is one of the most important of these questions, and can be solved exclusively through a direct dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships," Lavrov said.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s use of deadly force against peaceful protesters, describing the move as a “serious escalation” that could lead to dangerous consequences.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described Israeli violence against unarmed Palestinian protesters as “shameful”.

Zarif described the Gaza city, which remains the target of a decade-long Israeli and Egyptian embargo, as the “biggest open-air prison in the world”.

And in Lebanon, lawmakers denounced Monday’s relocation of the US embassy while also slamming Israel’s “brutal and barbaric” response to the Gaza protests.

South Africa said it was withdrawing its ambassador to Israel until further notice following what it called the "indiscriminate and grave" attack on Monday.

In a statement, the South African government condemned the killing of protesters in Gaza.

"Grave dangers"

Pakistan also expressed grave concern on Monday on the rising tensions.

In a statement the Pakistani government said that despite calls by the international community to comply with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the two-state solution, US is moving its Embassy to the Holy City of Jerusalem.

"This represents a violation of international law and several United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 476 and 478," the statement said.

"The Government and people of Pakistan stand firmly with the Palestinian people."

Pakistan also renewed its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al Quds Al Sharif, Arabic acronym for Jerusalem, as its capital.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI condemned the relocating of US embassy in Israel in a statement, according to the country’s state news agency MAP.

MAP reported that the king was “following with concern the implementation of the US administration’s decision to recognise Al Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there.”

"Serious provocation"

Bahrain’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the Israeli violence.

In a statement the ministry said that it “warns against the grave dangers and negative repercussions of this serious provocation in the occupied Palestinian territories, stressing its total rejection of the use of force in the face of peaceful marches that call for the rights of the Palestinian people.”

The ministry reiterated its “firm position and support to the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people”, the statement added.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a written statement, described the US move to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem as “illegal”.

The statement highlighted that the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people were being “targeted” and international regulations have been “neglected”.

US President Donald Trump sparked international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate Washington's embassy to the city.

The embassy relocation coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 - an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or The Catastrophe”.

Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza city’s eastern border since early on Monday to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the "Nakba" anniversary and protest relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies