Change Region:ICEJ

US Blames Hamas for Deadly Gaza Riots

MFA Posts Videos Telling Israel's Side of the Story

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
15 May 2018 (All day)
US Blames Hamas for Deadly Gaza Riots
The Trump Administration in the US blamed Hamas for the deaths of 58 Palestinian rioters and the wounding of hundreds more in a series of violent incidents along the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Monday, while many other governments around the world blamed Israel to varying degrees for the situation. Turkey and South Africa both recalled their ambassadors to Israel for consultations while issuing scathing statements accusing Israel of carrying out a “massacre” of “peaceful protesters.”

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border,” the South African government said. “Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took it a step further, declaring the day’s events to add up to a "genocide."

By contrast, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a local radio news program on Monday that "any loss of life like this is tragic in circumstances like this, but Hamas' conduct is confrontational. They're seeking to provoke the Israeli defense forces. If they're pushing people to the border in that context, in that conflict zone, you're basically pushing people into circumstances where they are very likely to be shot at as Israel seeks to defend itself."

European governments made more neutral statements.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and to secure the fence against violent incursion. However, the principle of proportionality applies. That includes only using live ammunition when other, less forceful methods of deterrence do not work and in cases of concrete threats,” the German Foreign Office said. “The right to peaceful protest must also apply in Gaza. At the same time, we have always made clear that this right must not be abused, taken as a pretext or exploited in order to escalate the situation, deploy violence or incite others to do so. Those who wield power in the Gaza Strip must renounce violence and the Palestinian Authority must once again be in control in Gaza.”

These sentiments were echoed in an official EU statement on the matter.

Arab governments around the Middle East and North Africa issued relatively mild rebukes of Israel. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “every nation has the right to defend its borders. Hamas clearly says its intentions are to destroy Israel and sends thousands to break through the border for that end. We will continue to act with resolve to defend our sovereignty and our citizens.”

Meanwhile, all Israeli security agencies were on high alert Tuesday as Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning and a general strike in the West Bank and Hamas officials hinted that they might resume rocket fire into Israel on Tuesday. Additionally, leaders of Israel’s Arab communities have called for a general strike and anti-government demonstrations on Wednesday. 

Here are some videos posted by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tell Israel's side of the story


Share this: