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Arab League calls for int’l probe into Israeli crimes

Jordan renews call for recognising East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital

By Agencies - May 17,2018 - Last updated at May 17,2018

This photo taken on Thursday shows a general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo (AFP photo by Mohamed El Shahed)

CAIRO — Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday called for an international probe into “crimes” committed by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians during a protest on the Gaza border on Monday.

"We call for a credible international investigation into the crimes committed by the occupation," Abul Gheit said at the opening session of an extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the developments.

For his part, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told the gathering that the region is at a dangerous crossroad, where oppression, anger and despair will result in a new cycle of violence whose repercussions will affect the region and the world.

Safadi stressed that Israel cannot continue to kill innocent people, confiscate land, build settlements and take unilateral measures aimed at obliterating the Arab-Islamic and Christian identity of occupied Jerusalem and undermining the two-state solution.

Safadi called on the international community to shoulder its moral, humanitarian and legal responsibilities and launch an independent international investigation into Israel’s massacre against civilians in Gaza and demanded protection of the Palestinian people from the Israeli occupation’s policies.

Safadi also called on the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967, which is a necessary step to curb Israel’s aggression and an important message to the Palestinian people that the world still cares about them.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki suggested on Thursday that Arab countries should recall their ambassadors to the United States in response to Washington moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

“There is no harm in Arab states collectively recalling their ambassadors in Washington to their capitals for consultations,” Maliki said in live televised remarks at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting for seven weeks to be able to return to their historic homes they fled in 1948 and which later became part of Israel.

Israeli forces killed at least 60 Palestinians on Monday when tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered near the border.

The violence happened on the same day that the United States opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem. Another two Palestinians were killed on Tuesday.

“We are facing a state of blatant aggression against international law and legitimacy which was embodied by the US embassy’s transfer in the occupying state to Jerusalem,” said Abul Gheit.

Israel has come under mounting international pressure over the deadly violence. Its forces have killed 116 Palestinians since a campaign of protests on the Gaza-Israel border was launched on March 30.

“Our meeting today comes at a time of utmost importance as the US has moved its embassy to Jerusalem,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, who chaired the meeting, said in the opening session of the meeting called by his country.

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