Gaza Palestinians fear a bleak Ramadan lies ahead, amid poverty and killings

18 May, 2018, 13:47 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Loubani

Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday when the high-profile opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem raised the tension to boiling point after weeks of demonstrations.

Pope Francis said he was "very worried" by escalating violence in the Middle East, with Arab foreign ministers set to hold an "extraordinary" meeting yesterday to discuss the situation.

Today is an occasion to reflect on the costs and consequences of the 1948 war, which resulted in the mass displacement and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes.

Mr Erdogan, who also announced plans for a pro-Palestinian rally, has exchanged bitter accusations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling Israel an "apartheid state" and ordering the country's ambassador to Turkey to leave.

Israel has long argued that Hamas has used the protests, which began on March 30, as cover to for terrorist attacks or attempts to infiltrate its border.

Israel has, with support from the US administration, accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields for attacks across the fence and to distract from Gaza's internal problems.

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He also stressed the need to abide by UN Security Council Resolution No. 478 of 1980, which clearly calls on countries that have established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw these missions from the Holy City, while stressing the importance of complying with all global resolutions that call for not to establish or transfer embassies and diplomatic missions to Jerusalem, or recognition of the city as the capital of Israel.

The Arab foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Wednesday said his government was communicating with both sides "so that this bloodshed would stop".

There were protests Thursday outside many US embassies and consulates around the world - including in New Delhi, Hong Kong, Manila and Istanbul - over America's support for Israel. Hamas and the leaders of the demonstrations have a responsibility to prevent all violent actions.

My first words are to deplore the tragic loss of lives and suffering in Gaza and to express my deep sadness and condolences to the Palestinian people. "War incites war, violence incites violence". It was noted as the bloodiest day for Palestinians since 2014.

Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, has described the deaths and injuries of Palestinians on Monday at the Gaza border as a "massacre", by the Israeli army.

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