By Safvan Allahverdi
WASHINGTON (AA) - The UN envoys of Arab countries on Tuesday called for international protection for Palestinians and an independent investigation into the killings of more than 60 demonstrators on the Gaza border.
The Arab League at the UN made the announcement at a joint press conference following an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
Speaking on behalf of the European Union, France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against Palestinian civilians and asked the Hamas resistance movement to avoid provocation.
Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, in a written statement underscored that the U.S. declined calls from the Security Council for an independent and transparent investigation into the violence on the Israeli-Gaza border that has left at least 62 Palestinians dead.
“In a now habitual move, the U.S. blocked the Security Council from calling for a UN investigation into the situation in Gaza, sending the message that Israeli security forces’ calculated killings of protesters will come with no cost," Charbonneau said.
"The UN Security Council's silence on Israel's killings of Gaza protesters further undermines U.S. credibility by highlighting U.S. double standards as it seeks to mobilize the UNSC to hold abusers to account in crises like Syria and Myanmar," he added.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli gunfire in one of the deadliest single-day massacres in the country's history.
President Donald Trump sparked an international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate the U.S. embassy to the city.
The embassy’s relocation coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 -- an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or the “the Catastrophe”.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border Monday morning to take part in protests aimed at commemorating the Nakba anniversary and to protest the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Health Ministry.