Foreign Minister Simon Coveney last week formally rebuked Israel’s Ambassador over Gaza border deaths
Just one day after the death toll among Palestinian protestors passed several dozen – as the US opened its new Embassy in Jerusalem – Israel’s ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker was summoned to Iveagh House to be told of Ireland’s ‘shock and dismay’ at the scale of the lethal force.
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Foreign Minister Simon Coveney “summoned the Israeli ambassador to Ireland… to express Ireland’s shock and dismay at the level of death and injury yesterday on the Gaza Strip.”
It said Mr Coveney asked for “restraint from Israel in the hours and days ahead” and added: “The ambassador has been informed of Irish demands for an independent international investigation into yesterday’s deaths led by the UN.” Foreign Affairs said Irish officials in Ramallah reported that health services in Gaza, already stretched because of a lack of equipment and essential medicines, were “overwhelmed with the level of casualties.”
Ambassador Boker has been informed of Ireland’s demands for an independent international investigation led by the UN, the department spokesman said, adding that the minister was “very disturbed” by injuries to health workers tending to the injured in the clashes. Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the meeting took place but declined to comment on the content of the conversation.
Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said last week that 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 were wounded the day before amid the biggest riots and rallies in a weeks long campaign of protests against Israel, known collectively as the “March of Return.”
Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended Hamas-organized protests on the Gaza border and hundreds of others clashed with Israeli troops on the outskirts of Jerusalem and in other locations in the West Bank, marking the 70th anniversary of what they call the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” of Israel’s creation in 1948, as well as protesting the relocation of the US embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
Israel said a Hamas terror group was planning to use the border protests to breach the fence and carry out attacks in Israeli territory. It had warned that it would stop a possible border breach at all costs, telling protesters that they were putting their own lives in peril.
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