Theresa May urges independent probe into 'tragic' Gaza killings

Posted On: 
16th May 2018

Theresa May has called for an inquiry into the "deeply troubling" deaths of scores of Palestinian demonstrators near the Israeli border.

The Prime Minister called on "all sides to show restraint" but questioned why live rounds had been used at the Israeli border.
Credit: 
PA

58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 wounded on Monday after Israeli forces opened fire amid protests at the United States' highly-charged decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

In a press conference at Downing Street last night, the Prime Minister described the loss of life as "tragic and extremely concerning", and called for a full probe into what had happened.

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She said: "Such violence is destructive to peace efforts and we call on all sides to show restraint.

"There is an urgent need to establish the facts of what happened yesterday through an independent and transparent investigation, including why such a volume of live fire was used and what role Hamas played in events."

Mrs May said that while Israel was entitled to defend its borders, the use of live fire by its forces was "deeply troubling".

That viewed was echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said after a meeting with his French counterpart that he was "extremely saddened by the loss of life that has taken place".

He said that while "some have been provoking that violence", there "has got to be restraint in the use of live rounds".

Last night Israeli and Palestinian envoys were involved in heated clashes at the United Nations over the deaths.

Speaking during an emergency session of the UN Security Council, Palestine's UN envoy Riyad Mansour accused Israel of "war crimes", saying: "We condemn in the most emphatic terms the odious massacre committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip."

But Israeli envoy Danny Danon accused Gaza's Hamas government of inciting violence and trying to "place as many civilians as possible in the line of fire to maximise civilian casualties".

"It is a deadly game they play at the expense of innocent children," he said.