Israeli, Palestinian Envoys In Angry Exchanges At UN Security Council
RFE - Wednesday 16th May, 2018
The Israeli and Palestinian envoys have engaged in a fierce exchange at the United Nations a day after dozens of Palestinians were killed in violence along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Some 58 Palestinian protesters were killed and over 1,200 wounded by Israeli gunfire on May 14 -- the culmination of a weekslong protest against Israel.
Calm mostly prevailed on May 15, but two further deaths were reported.
Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansur condemned what he called 'the odious massacre committed by Israel,' and spoke of a 'crime against humanity.'
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon defended the use of force, calling the events at the border 'violent riots.' He also accused the Islamist movement Hamas of taking 'the people of Gaza hostage.'
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Israel, saying, 'No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.'
A number of countries expressed concern at the violence and some, including Germany and Britain, called for an independent probe.
Belgium and Ireland summoned their Israeli ambassadors, while Turkey temporarily expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara. Israel did the same to the Turkish consul in Jerusalem.
May 14 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel and was also the day the United States took the controversial step of opening an embassy in Jerusalem.
Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and the BBC
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036
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