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US blocks call for independent Gaza inquiry at UN: diplomats

AFP  |  United Nations 

The today blocked the adoption of a statement that would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-border, which erupted as the new US embassy in was opened, diplomats said.

"The expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest," read a draft of the statement, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

"The calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability," read the text.

In the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 war, at least 55 Palestinians were killed in the clashes and more than 2,400 Palestinians wounded.

They erupted before Israeli officials and a delegation including Donald Trump's daughter formally opened the embassy in Jerusalem, and the bloodshed continued throughout the day.

The dead included eight children under the age of 16, according to the Palestinian to the The Gazan health ministry provided the overall death and toll.

"The Security Council expresses its grave concern regarding recent developments in the Palestinian territory occupied by since 1967, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the context of the peaceful protests in the Strip and the tragic loss of civilian lives," the draft statement read.

"The Security Council calls upon all sides to exercise restraint with a view to averting further escalation and establishing calm," it said.

"The Security Council calls on all States not to undertake any steps that further aggravate the situation, including any unilateral and unlawful measures undermining the prospects of peace." It also said that any decisions and actions "which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of have no legal effect" -- a reference to the US decision to recognize as Israel's capital. The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 05:15 IST
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