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Gaza violence: Minister says Israel not afraid of being dragged to ICC

Press Trust of India  |  Jerusalem 

Unfazed by the prospect of being dragged to the following the death of 59 Palestinians in in violent clashes with Israeli forces, a top Israeli has said that her country is not worried as it "operates by international law".

Palestinian leadership has accused of a "massacre" in yesterday's deadly riots and many countries have condemned Israel's reaction to the protests as excessive.

Asked during an interview if should be worried about lawsuits at the in The Hague, Israeli Justice said that the troops had done "nothing illegal" in the face of demonstrators' violence.

"(IDF) are acting very very well, acting by the and it is all within the boundaries of judiciary and law," Shaked told

"Security forces are doing a very good job and containing events," she said adding, "is sacrificing its people for political purposes, but the IDF can handle the situation. I hope they got the message yesterday and things don't get out of control".

She even went on to the extent of saying that if Israel wanted "the border to be completely quiet, there is no choice but to conquer the Strip", but promptly added, "I don't think that should be done at this time".

The right-wing also played down mounting international criticism saying, "It is unpleasant, but we have a lot of experience, and we can deal with it".

Several other Israeli leaders and legislators also defended Israel's conduct and placed the blame for yesterday's death toll, the highest since 2014 Operation Protective Edge, squarely on the shoulders of Palestinians.

Ultra-nationalist Defence Minister, Avigdor Liberman, said Israelis' celebration in last night of the recent Eurovision win was a prime example of the differences between Israeli and Palestinian mindsets.

"Yesterday tens of thousands of Israelis gathered at for a musical performance," he tweeted.

"In Gaza, on the other hand, thousands gathered to infiltrate Israel to commit acts of terror. That's the difference between Israel's culture of life and Hamas's culture of death in Gaza," Lieberman said.

Israeli forces were gearing up today for a second straight day of Palestinian protests and the prospect that they may spread while Gazans prepared to bury their dead.

May 15 is observed by the Palestinians as the Nakba day, or the day of catastrophe commemorating the displacement of Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 war with Israel, and was expected to be the culmination of seven weeks of ongoing protests at the Strip border fence.

Israel has blamed Hamas, which controls the since June 2007 when it ousted rival faction in a bloody struggle, for the deadly violence saying the terror group encouraged and led the protests that included attacks on Israeli troops and attempts to breach the border fence.

Likud lawmaker Avi Dichter, of the Knesset's (Israeli parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said he believed protests had not yet reached their peak.

"We are not seeing things winding down," he told "Nakba Day will be the climax", Dichter emphasised adding, We can't allow a wave of riled up people breaching the fence.

Israel's left-wing Meretz party, however, called for restraint and did not condone Israel's actions on the border.

Arab Israeli lawmaker echoed the in his condemnation of the Israeli military action calling it a "massacre" of unarmed people.

Tibi rejected Israel's accusations that Palestinians were attacking troops and trying to commit terror acts as a spin.

"Even if five people had crossed the fence, they could have been arrested," he said.

Several countries have condemned the escalating violence, questioning disproportionate use of force by Israel while urging to refrain from violence.

The EU called for "utmost restraint" by all sides. As per local media reports, and have recalled their from Israel, with accusing of "genocide".

The has blocked the adoption of a statement that would have called for an independent probe of the violence.

The council is due to hold an emergency meeting on the violence today at the request of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 18:15 IST
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