Widespread condemnation followed the Israeli army’s killing of at least 60 Palestinians on Monday at protests in Gaza against the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during a protest against US embassy move to Jerusalem , at the Israel-Gaza demarcation line in the southern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2018.
Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during a protest against US embassy move to Jerusalem , at the Israel-Gaza demarcation line in the southern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2018. (Reuters)

Israel faced widespread condemnation after its forces killed at least 60 Palestinians in Gaza during protests coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Many countries, including Britain, France and Russia, had already slammed the US decision to move the embassy, while 128 nations have backed a UN resolution condemning Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Here are some of the reactions from around the world following Monday's violence:

Palestinian reaction

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas condemned Israeli "massacres," saying "the US is no longer a mediator in the Middle East," and that the new embassy was tantamount to "a new American settler outpost" in Jerusalem.

Hamas vowed protests will continue. "We say clearly today to all the world that the peaceful march of our people lured the enemy into shedding more blood," senior Hamas official Khalil al Hayya said.


Turkey told the Israeli ambassador to Ankara to return to Israel “for some time,” the Turkish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

It also announced it was recalling its ambassadors to the US and Israel "for consultations."

"Israel is a terror state, and what Israel has done is a genocide," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

United Nations 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, said, "Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account."

UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was "particularly worried" about the developments.

European Union 

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged restraint.

"Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed and hundreds injured from Israeli fire 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.


French President Emmanuel Macron "condemned the violence of the Israeli armed forces against protesters" in a telephone conversation with Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II. He also reaffirmed criticism of the US decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.


British Prime Minister Theresa May urged "calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts."


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had publicly stated its opposition to moving the embassy "several times."

"The determination of the status of Jerusalem ... must be decided through direct dialogue between with the Palestinians," he said.


Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said it was "inexcusable that civilians, members of the media and children have been among the victims."


Kuwait requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which diplomats later said the US had blocked.

"We condemned what has happened," the Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN, Mansour al Otaibi, said.


Egypt's Foreign Ministry called those killed "martyrs" and warned against "this serious escalation."

Ahmed al Tayeb, the grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt's highest institution of Sunni Islam, called on "Arabs and Muslims and all fair and reasonable people in the world to stand by the defenseless Palestinian people."

Saudi Arabia 

"Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces' gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.


Iran decried "a day of great shame" over the deaths.

"Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in the world's largest open air prison," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

Rights groups 

Amnesty International said the bloodshed was an "abhorrent violation" of human rights, and "appear to be willful killings constituting war crimes." Human Rights Watch also denounced the "bloodbath."

Source: AFP