EU, UK criticize Israeli attacks on Palestinians

German, UK, Italy urge a restart of peace process
ANKARA: A growing list of world leaders on Saturday condemned Israeli attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip that martyred 15 Palestinians during peaceful protests the previous day.
The German foreign ministry voiced deep concerning for the tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
The clashes made evident it is “absolutely necessary” to “resume negotiations” between the Palestinians and Israelis, it said in a statement.
“Only in this way can there be a solution that gives all people living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River the right to a dignified life and self-determination.”
In the U.K.’s minister of state for Middle East and North Africa expressed similar concerns.
“Deeply concerned and saddened at events in Gaza. UK calls for calm and restraint and renewed & urgent commitment to political processes to resolve the issues which violence cannot,” Alistair Burt said on Twitter.
Also joining the chorus of concern was Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who urged both parties to find an urgent solution that would ease tension and allow Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security.
In Iraq, foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmad Mahcub said his country stands with Palestinians. He affirmed Baghdad’s firm support for the Palestinian cause and denounced the use of live bullets against peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip as an open violation of the international law.
“I firmly condemn the unnecessary and disproportionate violence of Israel, towards the unarmed Palestinian civilians who protest to highlight the hard situation they are in,” was the message from Bakir Izetbegovic, Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He highlighted the fact that Gazans use electricity for just four hours daily, and most residents lack access to drinking water, while 70 percent of the population live on less than $2 dollars per day.
Izetbegovic demaned the UN, EU and international community end Israeli violence against Palestinians.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood also condemned the attacks and use of “deadly force” against Gazans.
“The Great Return March is a revolutionary referendum against the projects to liquidate the Palestinian cause and a death certificate for the Deal of Century,” said Talaat Fahmi, spokesman for the group.
Fahmi said Palestinians are defending the holy lands while the international community remains silent in the face of Israeli violations.
In addition to the martyred Gazans, hundreds of others were injured when Israeli forces opened fire on protesters marking Land Day, the annual commemoration of the deaths of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976, during demonstrations against government land confiscations in northern Israel.
The rallies were the start of a six-week protest that will culminate May 15, the day Palestinians call Nakba, or Catastrophe, when Israel was founded.
Demonstrators are demanding Palestinian refugees be allowed the right of return to towns and villages which their families fled, or were driven out of, when Israel was created in 1948.–AA

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