Egypt calls for investigation into Israeli use of live bullets against Palestinians

Egypt has called for an international investigation into the use of live ammunition by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, which left dozens of Palestinian protesters killed and hundreds injured last week, according to Ahram Online.

The call was made by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a speech on Friday at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) urgent summit in Istanbul on the latest developments in Palestine.

“A fair and impartial international investigation into the use of live ammunition by the occupation forces and the reaffirmation of the nullity of any attempt to legitimise the occupation of the Palestinian territories are necessary, but insufficient, conditions to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy we have witnessed over the past few days,” said the foreign minister.

On Monday, Israeli forces killed 61 Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel barrier fence. The protesters were demonstrating against the moving of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since Palestinians in Gaza started their Right of Return marches last March, Israel has killed at least 108 demonstrators and wounded thousands.

“The tragedy witnessed in recent days was the consequence of a political situation, which we cannot accept as it stands,” Shoukry said, adding: “The root of the problem is the occupation.”

The foreign minister added that it is the responsibility of the international community to address the political roots of the problem and work for the immediate return to the negotiating table to end the occupation and overcome seven decades of devastating conflict that has taken the lives and rights of successive generations.

The minister affirmed that the right of the Palestinian people to their land and an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital is “a fixed and genuine right, and practices by the Israeli occupation have been and will remain null and void in international law and incapable of establishing rights for the occupying power.”

Shoukry stressed that the Palestinian people’s right to their land is not only the stance of the member states of this organisation, but also the vast majority of countries in the world, as evidenced by the UN General Assembly resolution – which Egypt contributed to preparing – approved by a majority 128 countries in December 2017.

“How can the occupation authorities continue to ignore the will of the overwhelming majority of the international community and continue their violations and bring down innocent victims, all amid a shameful global silence?”

Shoukry stressed that the international community has a clear responsibility to protect the Palestinian people, enable them to regain their stolen rights, work to end the occupation, and maintain the legal status of East Jerusalem as a land under occupation.

“We need a decisive stand against the policy of systematic violation by the Israeli occupation against the defenceless Palestinian people who have been defending their legal rights and faith in the justice of their cause and legitimacy,” said Shoukry.

The OIC, which comprises 57 member nations, held the summit per the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the chairman of the 13th session of the OIC.

“The last Islamic Summit held on 13 December 2017 clearly affirmed the rejection by all Islamic countries of any unilateral action that attempts to undermine the legal status of Jerusalem or legitimise the reality of the occupation,” Shoukry said.

“This summit is the second urgent meeting in less than six months, and the record of the Palestinian tragedies has shown more than 60 martyrs and hundreds wounded by the Israeli occupation authorities’ policy of violating the rights of the defenceless Palestinian people, who refuse to give up on their right to freedom, life, and dignity,” the foreign minister said.

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