Pales­tini­ans bury dead amid Is­rael back­lash

Two more killed as thou­sands mourn

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE - John Ba­con and Jane Onyanga-Omara

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

JAA­FAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/GETTY IM­AGES

Mon­day’s Is­raeli bor­der con­fronta­tion was the dead­li­est day of vi­o­lence in the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries since 2014.

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