‘This is state terror’: Foes & allies criticize Israel over use of force in wake of embassy move

Russia, France, and the UK have expressed consternation over the legality of the US Embassy moving to Jerusalem, and Israel’s heavy-handed response to the clashes it has provoked, which have reportedly caused over 50 deaths.

“We have publicly criticized the move multiple times,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “International resolutions declare that the status of Jerusalem – one of the most important issues of the entire peace process – must be resolved in direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also said that Donald Trump’s decision, made last December, “violated international law,” but expressed particular alarm at IDF tactics.

“France calls on all actors to show responsibility to prevent a new escalation,” Le Drian said in a statement. “France again calls on the Israeli authorities to exercise discernment and restraint in the use of force that must be strictly proportionate.”

The UK has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping its embassy in Tel Aviv and said it was worried that the unilateral move could derail an already dormant peace process.

“We are concerned by the reports of violence and loss of life in Gaza. We urge calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts,” said a statement from a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May. “The UK remains firmly committed to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital.”

The Arab League, which comprises 22 Muslim states, said that it would schedule an extraordinary meeting over Monday’s events, calling the dead Palestinians “martyrs” and Israel’s actions “immoral.”

“The opening of the American embassy in occupied Jerusalem represents a step of utmost gravity which, I do not think the US administration realizes its real consequences in both the short and long term,” said its chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

“There is a massacre there, state terror,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told A Haber TV. “The international community must stand tall against this injustice and lawlessness regarding the Palestinian matter. Condemning today’s massacre is not enough anymore. Joint steps must be taken.”

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