ANKARA – Muslim countries have decried Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border — that left 43 people dead on Monday — and the relocation of Washington’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s use of deadly force against peaceful protesters, describing the move as a “serious escalation” that could lead to dangerous consequences.
Qatar, for its part, decried Monday’s violence as a “massacre”, condemning the Israeli army’s “systematic murder” of Palestinians near the blockaded Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.
Lolwah al-khater, a spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said her country was “calling on all regional and international powers to pressure Israel to stop the killing”.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI said he would not implement the U.S. administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to a royal statement carried by the official Maghreb Press Agency.
The king went on to say he would “spare no effort” to pressure the international community to support the Palestinian people and their legitimate right to statehood.
In Iran, meanwhile, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described Israeli violence against unarmed Gazan protesters as “shameful”.
Zarif described the Gaza Strip, which remains the target of a decade-long Israeli/Egyptian embargo, as the “biggest open-air prison in the world”.
And in Lebanon, lawmakers denounced Monday’s relocation of the U.S. embassy while also slamming Israel’s “brutal and barbaric” response to the Gaza protesters.
At least 43 Palestinian demonstrators were killed on Monday — and hundreds more injured — by Israeli army forces deployed along the other side of the border.
At one point, Israel used unmanned aerial drones to drop teargas bombs on Palestinian demonstrators, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Since early Monday morning, thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border to take part in the protests.
The rallies coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “The Catastrophe”.
Since the border rallies began on Mar. 30, more than 90 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed and hundreds more injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing protests along Gaza’s border constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.