HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, received a phone call yesterday from Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
During the call, the two sides discussed the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the arrangements for the emergency Islamic (Organisation of Islamic Co-operation) summit to be held to discuss the repercussions of the Israeli crimes, and the shifting of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
They also stressed the need to co-ordinate efforts between the two countries to stop the Israeli attacks and to protect the Palestinian people. They said that moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem would threaten the stability of the region and international peace and security.
The two sides also discussed bilateral relations and issues of common concern.
Meanwhile, Israel was under mounting international pressure amid calls yesterday for an independent probe after its forces killed 62 Palestinians during two days of violence along the Gaza border.
Protests and sporadic clashes flared again on the Gaza border, though they were far fewer in number than the previous day.
A second Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire yesterday, the health ministry in the strip announced, a day after 60 people were killed in the worst violence in years as the United States opened an embassy in Jerusalem.
Palestinians yesterday marked the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.
Most of the 60 Gazans killed on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said.
The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said.
At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.
There were numerous calls for an independent investigation into the deaths, with Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium among those supporting such action.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that a planned summit this week of the world’s main pan-Islamic body would send a “strong message” after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians along the Gaza border.
“The extraordinary meeting on Friday will give a very strong message to the world from Istanbul,” Erdogan said at a press conference in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May, adding that all members of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) were invited.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas withdrew his top representative to the United States yesterday, a day after the US moved its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.
Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, would return to the Palestinian territories today.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have previously called for an independent probe, with 115 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since protests and clashes began on the Gaza border on March 30.
“The United Kingdom supports an independent investigation into what has happened,” Alistair Burt, British minister for Middle East affairs, told parliament.
He called for “greater restraint” in the use of live fire.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters”.
Ireland and Belgium summoned the Israeli envoys in their capitals, while South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel.
Turkey told Israel’s ambassador to temporarily leave the country, while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide”.
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss violence along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Nikolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator addressed the council members and said the killing acts in Gaza don’t serve the peace process. He strongly condemned the events in the Gaza Strip and held Israel responsible for the use of lethal force, which led to the high death toll.
Palestinian Permanent observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour called for a transparent and independent investigation into the deadly violence in the Gaza strip and said Palestinians will endorse the results of the investigation in advance.
Kuwait called for the session after the killings of the large number of Palestinians.
Mansour al-Otaibi, Kuwaits ambassador to UN condemned the killings and said that Israel’s violation of international law would not have continued if it was not for the lack of action by the Security Council.
Al-Otaibi said he would circulate a draft resolution to the 15-member council today calling for the provision of international protection for the Palestinian people.
The Bolivian ambassador also called for an independent investigation into what happened in the Gaza Strip.
The US ambassador to the United Nations strongly defended Israel at the meeting.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” Nikki Haley said. “In fact the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained.”
The United States also blocked the adoption of a Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats said.
Some funerals were held in Gaza on Monday, while others took place yesterday.
In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared a general strike yesterday after accusing Israel of “massacres”.
Despite the bloodshed, the embassy inauguration on Monday went ahead as planned in Jerusalem, attended by a Washington delegation that included US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides.
Israel’s military said 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in the protests and clashes the same day.
AFP adds from Hague: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court vowed yesterday that she was watching closely the unrest in Gaza and would “take any action warranted” to prosecute crimes.
“My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within” the tribunal’s jurisdiction, Fatou Bensouda warned in a statement.
“The violence must stop,” she insisted, urging “all those concerned to refrain from further escalating this situation and the Israel Defence Forces to avoid excessive use of force.
“I will be watching and I will take any action warranted by my mandate under the Rome Statute,” she said.
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