African Union slams Israel for Gaza killings

African Union slams Israel for Gaza killings

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The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-ADDIS ABABA

The African Union on Tuesday strongly condemned Israel for killing dozens of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip Monday.

In a statement, African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said the “disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army” resulted in the killing of over 50 Palestinian demonstrators, while many more were wounded.

“The relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem can only further heighten tensions in the region and complicate the search for a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mahamat said.

The pan African body reiterated its solidarity with the Palestinian people in “their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

Mahamat called on the international community to search for a lasting two-state solution.

Meanwhile, Australia urged Israel to be “proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use of force”; it also expressed its deep regret and sadness over the loss of life and injury during the protests in Gaza.

“We recognize that Israel has legitimate security concerns and needs to protect its population, and we call on Israel to be proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use of force,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a written statement.

Bishop also urged Palestinian protesters to “refrain from violence and attempting to enter into Israeli territory during the March of Return”.

“The Australian government is committed to a future where Israel and a Palestinian state exist side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” she added.

‘Disregard for Palestinian rights’

Also, former CIA Firector John O. Brennan on his Twitter account described the deaths in Gaza as a “result of utter disregard of Messers Trump & Netanyahu for Palestinian rights & homeland”.

“By moving Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump played politics, destroyed US peacemaker role,” he said.

“New generation of Israelis/Palestinians need to isolate extremists to find path to peace.”

A total of 59 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and hundreds more injured by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border Monday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border since Monday morning to take part in protests aimed at commemorating the Nakba anniversary and to protest the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 90 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The rallies are to culminate on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “the Catastrophe”.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.

U.S. President Donald Trump sparked an international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowed to relocate the American Embassy to the city.


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