Egypt condemns targeting of unarmed Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces

Ahram Online , Monday 14 May 2018

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's foreign ministry has condemned the targeting of unarmed Palestinian civilians by occupying Israeli forces, after dozens of Palestinians were killed at the Gaza border on Monday.

Demonstrators had streamed to the border with Israel to protest the inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

The foreign ministry statement highlighted Egypt's strong condemnation of the targeting of Palestinian civilians, "which has created 37 martyrs so far and injured more than 1,600."

"Egypt totally rejects the use of force against civilians protesting in peaceful marches demanding their legitimate and just rights," the statement read.

The ministry also warned of "the negative consequences of such a dangerous escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories."

The statement stressed Egypt's full support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially the right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayyeb, also issued a statement on Monday condemning the move of the embassy. 

El-Tayyeb said that the decision hurts the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world, who have been witnessing violations taking place near Islamic holy sites, and also at Christian holy sites.

He called on all governments, peoples, and Arab, Islamic and international institutions that believe in the values of justice and freedom “to carry out their national, religious and moral duty towards Jerusalem and Palestine," the statement read. 

Monday saw the highest Palestinian single-day death toll since a series of protests dubbed the "Great March of Return" began at the border with Israel on 30 March, and since the 2014 Gaza war.

Tens of thousands gathered at the border with Israel on Monday, some of them approaching Israel's border fence - a line Israeli leaders vowed Palestinians would not be allowed to breach.

Health officials said 900 Palestinians were wounded, about 450 of them by live bullets, Reuters reported. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said eight journalists were among the wounded.

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