Global condemnations pour in as Gaza death toll reaches 60

At least 2,400 have been wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war

GAZA CITY: Palestinians were gathering Tuesday for fresh protests along the Gaza border, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US embassy opened in Jerusalem on what was the conflict’s bloodiest day in years.

Palestinians on Tuesday 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.

It came a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned.

Most of the 60 Gazans martyred 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.

Some funerals were held on Monday, while others were taking place Tuesday.

A woman mourns the death of Mohammed Dwedar, a 27 year-old Palestinian killed during clashes along the Gaza border the previous day, in Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2018. Photo: AFP 

Germany backs independent inquiry on Gaza violence

Germany signalled its support for an independent probe into the deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

"It is our view that an independent investigation commission can clarify the violent incidents and the bloody violations at the border area," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

UK calls for independent probe after Gaza killings

Britain called for an "independent investigation" into the violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

"The United Kingdom supports an independent investigation into what has happened," Alistair Burt, a minister at the Foreign Office responsible for Middle East affairs, told parliament.

He called on Israel to show "greater restraint" in the use of live fire, and said that the inquiry should look into why so much was used.

Turkey urges Islamic world to review Israel ties, calls summit

Turkey urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel and said it would call an extraordinary summit of the world´s main pan-Islamic body.

"Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel," Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling party in parliament.

"The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre," he added.

Yildirim said that Turkey had called an "extraordinary summit" of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the body.

It was not immediately clear what format the meeting would take or who might attend.

A Turkish foreign ministry official, who asked not to be named, said there was to be "a summit in Istanbul on Friday".

 A Palestinian man uses a slingshot during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Khan Yunis on May 14, 2018. Photo: AFP 

Ireland summons Israeli ambassador over Gaza bloodshed: ministry

Ireland summoned Israel’s ambassador to Dublin Zeev Boker. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney "summoned the Israeli ambassador to Ireland... to express Ireland’s shock and dismay at the level of death and injury yesterday on the Gaza Strip," the ministry said in a statement.

Coveney also asked for "restraint from Israel in the hours and days ahead," the foreign ministry said.

"The ambassador has been informed of Irish demands for an independent international investigation into yesterday´s deaths led by the UN," it added.

The ministry said Irish officials in Ramallah reported that health services in Gaza, already stretched because of a lack of equipment and essential medicines, were "overwhelmed with the level of casualties".

"As well as the death and mass injury, Ireland is also very disturbed by the injuries suffered by health workers as reported by the WHO (World Health Organization)," the statement said.

UN says 'seems anyone is liable to be shot dead' in Gaza 

The UN rights office said it seemed that any Palestinian protesting in Gaza, regardless of whether they pose an imminent threat, is "liable" to be killed by Israeli forces.

"The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot," rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.

"It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead," he added, stressing that international laws which apply to Israel make clear that "lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort."

"It is not acceptable to say that ´this is Hamas and therefore this is OK´," Colville added, in an apparent dismissal of Israel´s justification for the high casualty levels among Palestinians in clashes along the flashpoint border.

UN rights chief Zeid Ra´ad Al Hussein said Tuesday that "those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account."

Iran says Israelis should be tried as 'war criminals'

Iran said Israeli officials should be tried as war criminals over the "brutal massacre" of Gazan protesters.

"The killing of children, women and defenceless people of Palestine and the occupation of Palestinian lands has become the main strategy of the Zionists over the 70 years of occupation," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on the ministry's website.

He called on the international community to take "immediate action" and try Israeli leaders as "war criminals in international courts".

"The constant and continued crimes of the Zionists in Palestine is the result of the unsparing support of the US," Ghasemi said.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem was part of its attempts to undermine international institutions, along with its withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and Iran nuclear agreement.

"All these cases show that America intends to destroy the international institution of the United Nations," he told parliament on Tuesday.

"It is driving the international scene to a kind of security chaos," he added.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced "a day of great shame".

"Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in the world´s largest open-air prison," he wrote on Twitter.

US blocks call for independent Gaza inquiry at UN: diplomats

The United States on Monday blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border, which erupted as the new US embassy in Jerusalem was opened, diplomats said.

"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, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

"The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability," read the text.