Palestinians bury dead amid Israel backlash
Two more killed as thousands mourn
Palestinians buried their dead Tuesday as global condemnation intensified against Israel one day after Israeli troops killed scores of protesters and wounded thousands more along the Gaza border.
Two more Palestinians were killed Tuesday in clashes with Israeli soldiers in Gaza’s al-Bureij refugee camp. Protests were smaller and generally quieter than Monday, with funerals drawing the biggest crowds as thousands mourned and waved Palestinian flags.
In Gaza City, hundreds attended the funeral of 8-month-old Leila al-Ghandour, who died of tear gas exposure, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The child was one of 59 Palestinians killed in Monday’s clashes with the Israeli military along the fence line, the deadliest day of violence with Gaza since 2014.
Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory, condemned Israel’s response to the largely unarmed demonstrators.
“This blatant excessive use of force by Israel — an eye for an eyelash — must end, and there must be true accountability for those in military and political command who have ordered
“All sides now need to show leadership and courage.”
Alistair Burt United Kingdom’s minister for the Middle East
or allowed this force to be once again employed at the Gaza fence,” Lynk said.
The U.N. Security Council met to discuss the violence, but wrapped up for the day without taking action. Nikki Haley, the American envoy to the U.N., blamed Hamas for the violence and credited Israel with acting with restraint.
A ceremony Monday formally moving the U.S. Embassy in Israeli to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv outraged Palestinians. Haley, however, said the move was no excuse for violence.
“The Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy,” she said.
In South Africa, thousands marched in Cape Town and the government recalled its envoys to Israel. Turkey recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the U.S. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called Israel’s re“The sponse unacceptable, adding “firing live rounds on protesters is shameful.”
Germany was among nations calling for an independent U.N. investigation, although Chancellor Angela Merkel said she “understands Israel’s security needs. Alistair Burt, the United Kingdom’s minister for the Middle East, said Monday’s events were “shocking” and “extremely worrying.”
U.K. remains committed to a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital. All sides now need to show real leadership and courage,” Burt said in a statement.
Doctors Without Borders, which said its medical teams were “working around the clock” to treat many of the wounded, said the “Israeli army must stop its disproportionate use of violence against Palestinian protesters.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the use of force.
Palestinians began a series of protests six weeks ago dubbed the Great March of Return. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes since the protests began. Hamas Khalil alHayya, a senior Hamas official, called for an “Islamic intifada” or uprising, in response to the deaths.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, with protesters east of Gaza City, vowed that the protests will continue. “Our message today is the Return March and siege-breaking is going on,” he said. “The massacre, the Israeli occupation committed against our ... youths will only increase our steadfastness.”
This blatant excessive use of force by Israel — an eye for an eyelash — must end, and there must be true accountability for those in military and political command who have ordered or allowed this force to be once again employed at the Gaza fence.”
Michael Lynk United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory
The mother of Leila al-Ghandour, a Palestinian infant, visits the morgue in Gaza City. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Monday’s Israeli border confrontation was the deadliest day of violence in the Palestinian territories since 2014.