As nations condemn Gaza killings, US comes to Israel’s defence

World nations condemned Israel over the killing of 60 Palestinians in Gaza protests during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

As many as 128 nations supported a UN resolution condemning the Israeli action as well as Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But the US immediately came to the defence of Israel by blaming Hamas for the Gaza violence. It also blocked a UN resolution calling for an international investigation into the Gaza killings.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu too blamed Hamas, and defended his country’s use of force, saying every country has the obligation to defend its borders.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas condemned Israeli “massacres”, saying “the US is no longer a mediator in the Middle East,” and that the new embassy was tantamount to “a new American settler outpost” in Jerusalem.

Hamas vowed the protests would continue. “… the peaceful march of our people lured the enemy into shedding more blood,” senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said.

Turkey said it was recalling its ambassadors to the US and Israel “for consultations”.

Israel is a terror state and what it did on Monday was genocide, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was “particularly worried” about the killings.

Amnesty International said the bloodshed was an “abhorrent violation” of human rights, and “appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes”. Human Rights Watch also denounced the “bloodbath”.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “utmost restraint”.

Egypt’s foreign ministry called those killed “martyrs” and warned against “this serious escalation”. Iran decried “a day of great shame” over the deaths.

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