CARICOM condemns use of force by Israeli army against Palestinians

Posted May 18, 2018

Israel has faced worldwide criticism over its use of live fire, but insists its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltration from the Palestinian enclave, which is run by Islamist movement Hamas.

Israeli fire killed almost 60 Palestinians on Monday during a protest along the Gaza border.

Another social media announcement by Israel's national security revealed that each of the two dozen Muslim militant casualties belonged to Islamic terrorist groups.

The affiliation may matter little to those who have deemed Israel's response to the protests to be heavy-handed.

"Haniyeh returned to Gaza, Hamas gave an order...and miraculously, this spontaneous protest by a public that could not handle the situation any more dissipated", Katz told Israel Radio.

An Israeli cabinet minister said neighbouring Egypt pressured Hamas to scale back the current wave of protests, although the group denied the claim.

A large number of heads of state and government including Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Afghan President Ashraf Gani, Kuwaiti Amir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and Mauritanian President Mohammad Veled Abdulaziz are expected to participate in the summit meeting.

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Bardawil did not say whether the 50 were fighters from Hamas's armed wing, or whether they were just regular members.

No Israeli soldiers were wounded in either case.

The weekly protests peaked on Monday when about 40,000 Gazans descended on the border area.

According to the army, tens of thousands took part in the protests at several points along the border.

Hamas leaders strategized to have Palestinian youth draw Israeli fire.

She continued by mentioning a list of conflicts that have taken place along the Gaza border, including the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces on May 14 after the USA opened an embassy in Jerusalem. Hardly a mention was made of the border violence, only about an hour's drive away.

"The IDF said it coordinated the transfer of eight truckloads of vital medical equipment through the Kerem Shalom crossing due to severe humanitarian conditions in the Hamas-controlled enclave, with hospitals struggling to treat Palestinians wounded in clashes on the Israel-Gaza border on Monday and Tuesday". "This was no peaceful protest", Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus wrote on Twitter.

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The army said the incident was "serious" and they considered "terror group Hamas responsible for anything taking place in and from Gaza".

"These individuals that were killed, regardless of their affiliation or membership, were engaged in a demonstration in which they did not pose an immediate threat to life and were gunned down, and that's what's relevant", Shakir said. Israel disputes this and says some of those killed were firing at its troops.

Hamas' statement comes at a moment when Israel finds itself largely isolated over its response to the protests.

"Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved the reopening of the crossing on Monday - three days after Palestinian protesters set it ablaze for a second time in two weeks - causing damage worth NIS 30 million ($8.3m) to the crossing's infrastructure", Halon pointed out.

Guatemala was one of only a few nations that backed Trump's decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and it is only the second country to move its embassy to the holy city.

"We will never allow Jerusalem to be stolen by Israel". Israel considers Jerusalem its undivided capital, but almost all countries have opted to maintain embassies in Tel Aviv because of the holy city's contested status.

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