Friday, 21 September, 2018
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Coveney summons envoy after Gaza violence

Guatemala moves embassy to Jerusalem Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales Guatemala moves embassy to Jerusalem
Bennie Garza | 16 May, 2018, 10:48

The Irish government summoned the Israeli Ambassador Zeev Boker of consultation on the recent escalation of violence along the border of the Jewish state from the Gaza strip, which killed 59 people living in the Palestinian enclave.

Mr Coveney summoned the Israeli ambassador to Iveagh House yesterday to express "outrage and dismay" at the events. "The ambassador has been informed of Irish demands for an independent worldwide investigation into yesterday's deaths led by the United Nations".

In a statement released afterwards, a spokesperson for Mr Coveney said: "Our mission in Ramallah reports that emergency responders in Gaza and the Strips' health services are overwhelmed with the level of casualties".

The spokesman also underlined that "the health system [in Gaza] was already facing major challenges due to lack of equipment and essential medicines".

It said there were 211 recorded attacks against health workers in Gaza and 25 ambulances had been damaged.

In the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 Gaza war, at least 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,200 were wounded at the Gaza-Israeli border yesterday.

This was the message at a small picket held outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday in support of The Great Return March, which is a series of rallies by Palestinian people culminating on Tuesday on the anniversary of the Nakba.

The death toll led to strong condemnation from rights groups and concern from a range of countries.

Prime Minister Charles Michel and Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said in a statement what happened in Gaza was a "clear" use of "disproportionate force against civilians", but also condemned anyone who encouraged Palestinians to protest at the Gaza border on Monday.

The Belgian leaders seemed to link the violence to Donald Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, saying that it had "brought us further away from peace".

"The killing of peaceful protesters in Gaza is something that requires an global response and that worldwide response can isolate and put pressure on the Israeli regime so that they change their behaviour [or] at the very least to have some restraint in the way in which they deal with the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people", said Cherry.

"The escalating loss of life in Gaza is a tragic example of an unacknowledged failure of diplomacy", said Higgins.

At this very risky moment in time for the Middle East, I call on all involved to return to meaningful diplomacy, to avoid escalation and show the utmost care and respect for global treaties and agreements.

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