The UN Security Council is to convene an emergency meeting on Tuesday a day after the Gaza Strip experienced its deadliest day of violence since 2014.
Kuwait, a non-permanent UNSC member, called for an emergency session of the Council in the wake of the massacre of nearly 60 Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces on Monday.
Israeli snipers positioned along the fence targeted Palestinians who had gathered near the Gaza fence for the climax of six-week demonstrations coinciding with the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.
Latest reports have put the death toll at 59. Over 2,700 others are said to have sustained injuries.
“We condemned what has happened,” Kuwaiti ambassador to the United Nations, Mansour al-Otaibi, said on Monday.
According to diplomats, the meeting is set to begin at 1400 GMT.
The situation is volatile near the Gaza fence where protesters have gathered ahead of the inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds.
US blocks UNSC Gaza violence probe
According the AFP, the US blocked a UN Security Council statement which would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence in Gaza.
“The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest,” read a draft of the statement.
“The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability,” the text added.
“The Security Council expresses its grave concern regarding recent developments in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the context of the peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip and the tragic loss of civilian lives,” it added.
The statement went on to call upon all parties to exercises restraint and avoid actions which could further worsen the situation.
It also added that any decisions and actions “which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect,” in an elaborate reference to the Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Erdogan accuses Israel of genocide
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Tel Aviv regime of “state terror” and “genocide.”
“Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state,” Erdogan addressed Turkish students in London via a televised speech. “What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America,” he added.
Turkey has also called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to be held on Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag also announced that Ankara was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel “for consultations” following the killings.
South Africa recalls ambassador to Israel
South Africa also recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest to the recent bloodshed.
“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” said South Africa’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.
It added that victims were taking part in a “peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem” and went on to slam “the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border.”
The statement added that South Africa calls for Israeli forces to pull out of the Gaza Strip and end its “violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.”
US established American outpost settlement in al-Quds
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the US had established an “American outpost settlement in East Jerusalem” by opening its embassy.
“We hear that they opened an embassy (which is an outpost settlement and not an embassy. An American outpost settlement. At first we had outpost settlements with the help of America and now we have an American outpost settlement in East Jerusalem,” he said.
While referring to the Palestinian deaths as a “massacre” he announced three days of mourning and a general strike to be held on Tuesday.
“We decided to have the flags lowered tomorrow to half mast for three days of mourning (for the people who were killed at Gaza’s protests) and to have a strike tomorrow for the Nakba day. Tomorrow will be the anniversary of 70 years of the Nakba of the Palestinian people when they were forced out of their country by the Zionist gangs in 1948,” he added.
Saudi censures killings, doesn’t mention embassy move
Saudi Arabia condemned the demonstrators’ killing without referring to the controversial inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
“Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces’ gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens dead and wounded,” said a Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
He further called on the international community to “take responsibility and put an end to the violence against the Palestinians”, while stressing Riyadh’s support for the “rights of the Palestinian people.”
Qatar slams Israel’s ‘savage’ actions
Qatari Foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwah al-Khater strongly condemned “the massacre” of Palestinians.
Khater further called on the international community to take action and stop “the savage killings.”
Syria decries ‘brutal massacre’
“Syria condemns… the brutal massacre carried out by the Israeli occupation against unarmed Palestinian civilians,” said Syrian Foreign Ministry official.
The official also condemned the “criminal and illegitimate” relocation of the US mission to Jerusalem al-Quds.
He also said the administration of US President Donald Trump bore “responsibility for the blood of Palestinian martyrs.”
Protesters in across the globe of have gathered to express their solidarity with Palestinians following the relocation of the US embassy.
The United States officially opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem al-Quds on Monday, despite warnings from around the world that the measure risks triggering a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East.
In a speech at the White House in December 2017, the US president officially declared the disputed city of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.