Saudi Arabia, UAE slam Israeli fire in Gaza

UAE rejects use of force to confront peaceful demonstrations, which mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba
A wounded Palestinian man is rushed to an ambulance at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue on May 14, 2018 in Gaza.
By Staff writer
Tue 15 May 2018 07:53 AM

Saudi Arabia and the UAE condemned Israeli gunfire on Monday that killed 55 Palestinians and left more than 2,400 wounded, without mentioning the inauguration of the controversial US embassy in Jerusalem.

''The UAE absolutely rejects the use of force to confront peaceful demonstrations, which mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba, and demand their just rights,'' the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement. 

The UAE called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility by stopping violence and protecting the Palestinian people. It also reiterated the UAE's unequivocal position towards the Palestinian Cause and its support for the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights in line with international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

A Saudi foreign ministry spokesperson said, "Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces' gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded." 

The spokesperson, quoted by the kingdom's official SPA press agency, called on the international community to "take responsibility and put an end to the violence against the Palestinians", noting Riyadh's support for the "rights of the Palestinian people".

The spokesperson did not mention the opening of the controversial US embassy in Jerusalem, which also took place on Monday.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but their ties have improved recently as the two close ranks with the US against their shared enemy - Iran.

The transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided holy city, enacted by US President Donald Trump, was condemned by the Arab summit held in Saudi Arabia on April 17.

Israeli troops opened fire on Monday as thousands of Palestinians demonstrated along Gaza's border with the Jewish state, protesting the inauguration the US embassy and calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to homes that are now in Israel.

*With AFP

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Last Updated: Tue 15 May 2018 09:30 AM GST

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