Saudi Arabia: US embassy in Jerusalem represents prejudice against Palestinian rights

16 May, 2018, 13:47 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Palestinian Foreign Ministry

Monday was the deadliest day in the region since the 2014 Gaza war, as 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 wounded amid protests over the United States embassy's move to Jerusalem. "We would have come to this protest today anyway, but now we're even more amped up and I'm personally going to use this energy and sadness for activism". But in the wake of Monday's deadly violence, they morphed into demonstrations against Israel's excessive use of force.

"By confirming the transfer of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the United States destroys the peace process between Israel and Palestine and pushes the conflict of both peoples towards a bloody confrontation", the South American leader tweeted hours after the US government opened its new diplomatic headquarters in Israel.

The US on Monday blocked a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council statement that would have expressed "outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians" and called for an independent investigation, UN diplomats said.

The Gaza health ministry, which provided the toll from Monday's violence, said a nine-month-old girl died from tear gas exposure, but medical officials later cast doubt on that claim, saying the infant had a pre-existing medical condition.

A Palestinian protester holds a rope during clashes after protests near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza Strip, 14 May 2018.

The UN Middle East peace envoy Nikolay Mladenov said there was "no justification" for the Israeli response and called the protesrs a "day of tragedy".

While there has been plenty of criticism internationally about President Trump's decision, some countries have supported the move and said they plan to change the location of their diplomatic headquarters.

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Some countries, among them South Africa and Turkey, have recalled their ambassadors to Israel over the violence.

Both these resolutions affirm that Jerusalem would be the capital of the future Palestinian State and the State of Israel.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's decisions but Palestinians have said the USA can no longer serve as an honest broker in any peace process.

"Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States chose to move our embassy", Haley told United Nations officials, according to Politico.

"Such violence is destructive to peace efforts and we call on all sides to show restraint", she said.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Israel, however.

President Trump's December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, followed by Monday's relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was seen by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, as a betrayal.

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