U.N. Security Council to Meet Tuesday on Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The latest on the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and Palestinian protest (all times local):
The U.N. Security Council is set to meet Tuesday to discuss the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border.
Kuwait called for the session after more than 50 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire amid mass protests Monday. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 cross-border war.
The Palestinian U.N. envoy wants the Security Council to condemn the killings.
Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador is calling on the council to condemn Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the coastal Gaza Strip and led the protests.
It’s not immediately clear what will come out of the discussion. At an emergency meeting after similar protests in March, council members urged restraint on both sides but didn’t decide on any action or joint message.
The Israeli military says it is reopening the Gaza Strip’s main cargo crossing.
The Kerem Shalom crossing was closed over the weekend after Palestinian protesters damaged the facility.
The crossing is used to deliver food, medical supplies, fuel and building materials into the Gaza Strip. The military says it will reopen Tuesday, but it is not expected to operate at full capacity.
Israeli officials say protesters caused millions of dollars of damage to a fuel pipeline and conveyor belt that could take weeks to repair.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington says the Turkish ambassador to the United States is being called home over the Trump administration moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Turkey is also recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations. Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry says it strongly condemns the decision to move the embassy and deems the move “legally null and void.”
Turkey says the move “disregards the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” and “will not serve peace, security and stability in the region.”
In a statement, Turkey is also criticizing Israel for the death of Palestinians who were protesting along the Gaza-Israel border. Turkey calls it a “massacre.”
A senior official says the West Bank-based Palestinian leadership has decided to file a war crimes complaint against Israel with the International Criminal Court over its settlement construction on occupied lands.
Saeb Erekat says the decision was made late Monday in a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior PLO officials. It came after the U.S. moved its embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem on Monday and Israeli forces killed 55 people in Gaza protests.
Erekat says a decision was made to sign the ICC referral “immediately.” Seeking a war crimes prosecution of Israel would signal a sharp deterioration in increasingly tense relations between the two sides.
The Palestinians have had standing at the court since the U.N. General Assembly recognized a “state of Palestine” as a non-member observer in 2012.
Erekat says that in that capacity, “Palestine” will also join several international organizations. Previous decisions of this nature were sharply opposed by the U.S. and Israel.
The White House says responsibility for dozens of deaths in Gaza coinciding with the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem “rests squarely with Hamas.”
White House spokesman Raj Shah was responding to reports of Israeli soldiers shooting and killing at dozens of Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border on Monday.
It’s been the deadliest day there since a devastating 2014 cross-border war.
Shah says that “Israel has the right to defend itself” and is blaming Hamas for the “dire situation.”
He’s also calling Monday “a great day for Israel and the United States.”
Israel says South Africa has recalled its ambassador amid violence along the Gaza border.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the ambassador was recalled for consultations. He said that Sisa Ngombane returns home Monday night.
South Africa’s relations with Israel have long been frosty. The South African government is a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause.
The diplomatic move came after 52 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire along the Gaza border in mass protests led by the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules the territory.
Israel says the level of violence at the border was “unprecedented” and that some Palestinians opened fire at troops and planted explosives.
Thousands have gathered in Istanbul to condemn the U.S. decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, burning American and Israeli flags, and protesting deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border.
Demonstrators carried banners that read: “Al Quds belongs to the Muslims,” the Arabic name of Jerusalem. They chanted “God is great” and slogans calling for holy war and martyrdom. One speaker called Americans “dogs” as people shouted “Jerusalem is ours, it will be ours.”
The rally was called by pro-Islamic Humanitarian Relief Foundation or IHH. In 2010, Israeli commandos stormed an IHH-organized aid flotilla to Gaza, killing nine Turks.
Turkey has been vehemently critical of the U.S. and Israel for the embassy relocation. Speaking in Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim slammed the two countries for celebrating the move while “innocent and defenseless Palestinians are martyred.”
Syria’s foreign ministry says it condemns “in the strongest terms” what it called “the brutal massacre” committed Israel against the unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 43 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border on Monday against the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It was the deadliest day there since a devastating 2014 cross-border war.
In a statement Monday, the Syrian foreign ministry held the U.S. administration responsible for the bloodshed, calling its decision to move the embassy “criminal and illegitimate.”
The ministry said the battle of the Palestinian people against Israel is “Syria’s battle,” adding that Israel also supports “terrorists” that operate in Syria.
The statement said Syria support the Palestinians struggle to get back their legitimate rights, mainly its right to self-determination, refugees to return and establishing its independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Kuwait is seeking an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on the violence along the Gaza border, where Israeli soldiers shot and killed dozens of Palestinians during mass protests Monday.
Kuwait’s U.N. mission is requesting a meeting Tuesday on the developments.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the council Monday to condemn the killings. Speaking to reporters, Mansour called the Israel military response a “savage onslaught” and an “atrocity.”
Gaza’s Health Ministry says over 50 Palestinians were killed Monday in the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war with Israel.
Israel says it has the right to defend its border.
The council held an emergency meeting when the protests began in March. Members then urged restraint on both sides but couldn’t agree on any action or joint message.
Iran’s hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has condemned Israel’s killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
A Guard statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency said the Guard also strongly condemned the U.S. over moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Guard said the “harsh and vicious act … could start a new wave of combating America, anger and hatred against the supporters of this vicious move beyond the region.”
Iran is a longtime opponent of Israel. Israel says it targeted Iranian positions in Syria recently.
Qatar is condemning Israel for opening fire and killing Palestinians protesting in the Gaza Strip today.
A statement Monday night quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Lolwah al-Khater expressing the Gulf Arab nation’s “condemnation and denunciation of the brutal massacre and systematic killing committed by the Israeli occupation forces against unarmed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”
She said Qatar “calls on all international and regional powers that have a voice in Israel to act immediately to stop the brutal killing machine.”
Since a 2014 war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, natural gas-rich Qatar has been a leading player in internationally backed reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
The Lebanon’s Hezbollah says the creation of Israel, just like the violence against Palestinians protesting in Gaza today, is “a mark of shame” for all humanity.
Hassan Nasrallah was speaking Monday. He said the Palestinians and the region are facing a major challenge, which is that the U.S. plans to propose a new peace plan between Palestinians and Israelis. Nasrallah said the expected plan aims to erode Palestinians rights and urged them not to accept it. He said only the resistance axis, in reference to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, can change the “equation” and will hold on to the right of Palestinians to statehood and the right of return.
Nasrallah said Israel and the United States are pressuring Iran, with sanctions and withdrawing from the nuclear deal, not only because of its use of nuclear energy but also because of its support for the Palestinians and resistance movements.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has lashed out after the U.S. moved its embassy to contested Jerusalem, saying he “will not accept” any peace deal proposed by the Trump administration.
Abbas told PLO officials Monday that “this is not an embassy, it’s a U.S. settlement outpost in Jerusalem,” in a reference to Israeli settlements on war-won lands sought for a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian president also urged the international community to condemn what he said were “massacres” carried out by Israeli troops. On Monday, 52 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,200 wounded by Israeli army fire in Gaza border protests.
The high death toll and wall-to-wall Arab condemnation of Monday’s U.S. Embassy move cast new doubt on the Trump administration’s assertions that it can still broker a Mideast peace deal.
The Israeli military says there were no border breaches during Monday’s Gaza demonstrations, despite an “unprecedented” level of violence.
The army says it used airstrikes and tank fire against Hamas targets in Gaza after squads of gunmen opened fire and tried to plant bombs along the border.
“We saw more than five explosive devices. We saw shooting at forces,” said Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief army spokesman.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, another army spokesman, said hundreds of protesters carried out “concerted, coordinated” attacks on the border fence in an attempt to infiltrate.
Palestinian health officials says 52 people were killed by Israeli fire — the deadliest day of violence since a 2014 war.
The military accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to carry out attacks.
The chief Palestinian negotiator is accusing the Trump administration of “burying” Mideast peace hopes by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Saeb Erekat called the new embassy an illegal “settlement outpost.”
The Palestinians claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital and bitterly opposed the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Although President Donald Trump says Monday’s opening of the new embassy does not prejudge the final borders of the city, the move was perceived as taking Israel’s side.
“We also witnessed today a ceremony of the Prime Minister of Israel and the administration of President Trump burying the peace process, burying the two state solution, killing the hope in the minds of the people of the Middle East as a whole with the possibility of peace,” Erekat said.
The U.N. human rights chief says on Twitter that “Israeli live fire in #Gaza must stop now,” demanding respect for human life.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein decried the “shocking killing of dozens” and the injury of hundreds by Israeli forces in the Palestinian areas amid a crackdown against protests over the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
Zeid, a Jordanian prince who is leaving his post in August after a single term, said the international community needs to ensure justice for the victims.
He added Monday on the U.N. human rights office’s Twitter feed that perpetrators of “outrageous human rights violations” must be held to account.
Gaza’s Health Ministry says the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire has risen to 52, making it the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war with Israel.
It says 1,204 Palestinians were shot and wounded Monday in mass protests near the Gaza border fence with Israel. The ministry says this includes 116 who were in serious or critical condition.
The statement says about 1,200 others suffered other types of injuries, including from tear gas.
The steadily climbing death toll was bound to fuel international criticism of the military’s open-fire policies against unarmed protesters. Rights groups have said the rules are unlawful.
Israel says it is defending a sovereign border and accuses Gaza’s Hamas rulers of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests.