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Jerusalem/World leadersBack
[Published: Tuesday May 15 2018]

 World leaders react to US embassy relocation to Jerusalem

LONDON 15 May (ANA) - The Arab League, comprising 22 member states, urged the international community to oppose what it considers an "unjust decision" and the ongoing 

"Israeli occupation" of Jerusalem

It called the embassy relocation a "blatant attack on the feelings of Arabs and Muslims" and a "grave violation of the rules of international law" that would destabilise the region.

Palestinians have asked for an urgent meeting at the Arab League  to discuss the matter.

Egypt's al-Azhar religious institution meanwhile urged the international community to use "all peaceful means" to "dismiss positions of countries that sided with the Zionist entity," 

referring to Israel.

At the United Nations, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called for the immediate stop of Israeli live fire targeting dozens.

A statement read on Twitter: "Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in Gaza must stop now. The right to life must be respected. Those responsible for 

outrageous human rights violations must be held to account. The international community needs to ensure justice for victims."

Earlier, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, expressed concern about "the high number of people killed" in Gaza.

Speaking to reporters in Austria's capital, Vienna, the UN chief said that the Gaza bloodshed showed the need for a political solution.

"There is no Plan B to a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace," Guterres said.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif called the US embassy opening in Jerusalem "a day of great shame".

"Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in the world's largest open air prison," he wrote on Twitter.

"Meanwhile, Trump celebrates move of US illegal embassy and his Arab collaborators move to divert attention".

Last week, Trump defied last-ditch efforts by European allies and withdrew the US from a multinational nuclear agreement signed with Iran in 2015.  

"Definitely their measures on moving their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Iran's nuclear issue will not go unchallenged," Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's parliament, said on 

Monday, warning that the relocation would inflame tensions in the Middle East.

"These sorts of actions will increase tension in the region and the world," Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Larijani as saying. 

Larijani urged Muslim countries to take more serious measures in response to Trump's "wrong and unwise decision".
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri wrote on Twitter that he regrets "this decision that is igniting the anger of millions of Arabs, Muslims and Christians".

He said Lebanon denounces the "provocative" decision that is deepening the conflict and allowing the "Israelis to spill more blood of innocent Palestinians and increases the intensity of 

extremism that threatens the world community". 

Lebanon's Hezbollah group called the US decision a unilateral step "that Palestinians will not accept, and therefore it is worthless".

The group's deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Kassem, made his comments in a speech in Beirut on Monday marking the 70th anniversary of what Arabs refer to as the Nakba or 

"Catastrophe", when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from what is now Israel during the 1948 war around Israel's creation.

"God willing, the Nakba that happened 70 years ago will be a motive for change and liberation," Kassem said.

Kuwait has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting while Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the council  to condemn the killings. Mansour called the Israeli 

military response a "savage onslaught" and an "atrocity".

The council held an emergency meeting when the protests began in March. Members then urged restraint on both sides but could not agree on any action or joint message.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement that the embassy move to Jerusalem violates international law and several UN Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 476 

and 478. "The government and people of Pakistan stand firmly with the Palestinian people," the statement read.

"Pakistan also renews its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and 

with al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital."

Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, called on Israel to respect the "principle of proportionality in the use of force" after Israeli soldiers shot and killed 

dozens of Palestinians in Gaza.

Mogherini said that all should act "with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life" and added that "Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest". 

Germany expressed deep concern about the dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza, urging Israel to refrain from using live munitions except as a last resort.

"The right to peaceful protest must also apply in Gaza," a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. "Israel has the right to defend itself and secure its [border] fence against violent 

intrusions, but the principle of proportionality applies."

That meant that live munitions should only be used when other, weaker forms of deterrence had proven unsuccessful and specific threats were present, the spokeswoman added.

FA/ANA/15 May 2018--------

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