Theresa May urges calm in Gaza while Emily Thornberry blasts ‘vicious slaughter’
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Theresa May urges calm in Gaza while Emily Thornberry blasts ‘vicious slaughter’

Prime Minister calls for an end to bloodshed while Labour's shadow foreign secretary berates Israel for killing Palestinians

Palestinian women chant slogans as protesters burn tires near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. 
 (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinian women chant slogans as protesters burn tires near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Following reports that at least 52 Palestinians had been killed and 1,200 wounded in clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border, Downing Street appealed for calm on all sides, while the Labour Party condemned the violence.

“We are concerned by the reports of violence and loss of life in Gaza,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“We urge calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts.

“The UK remains firmly committed to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital.”

Labour’s Emily Thornberry called on Israeli forces to “stop this vicious and utterly avoidable slaughter of peaceful protesters” and condemned the Netanyahu government for its “brutal, lethal and utterly unjustified actions”.

The shadow foreign secretary said the UK should lead calls at the UN for an independent investigation into recent violence.

She said: “These actions are made all the worse because they come not as the result of a disproportionate overreaction to one day’s protests, but as the culmination of six weeks of an apparently systemic and deliberate policy of killing and maiming unarmed protesters and bystanders who pose no threat to the forces at the Gaza border, many of them shot in the back, many of them shot hundreds of metres from the border, and many of them children.

“Throughout that six-week period, the UN’s secretary general has been calling for an independent investigation into these incidents, one that should urgently determine whether international law has been broken, and hold the Netanyahu government to account for their actions.

“The UK should lead calls for the UN Security Council to order such an investigation today.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: “This is a tragic escalation of violence that all involved must seek to curtail.

“Trump’s bully-boy diplomacy has real-life consequences, and his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem was unnecessary and inflammatory.”

Dear Friends,I'm sure you will have been as appalled as I was to see the terrible scenes from the Gaza border today….

Posted by Emily Thornberry on Monday, 14 May 2018

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