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UK Labour leader slams Israel's killing of over 30 Palestinians

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (AFP file photo)

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the West's silence over Israel’s killing of over 30 Palestinians during anti-occupation rallies in the Gaza Strip.

Corbyn read a message at a rally on Saturday outside Downing Street in London, saying “The silence from international powers with the responsibility of bringing a just settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict must end."

"The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage," he told the crowd, adding that “firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated.”

Late last month, Palestinians marched to the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories at the start of a six-week protest, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The demonstrations turned violent after Israeli forces used tear gas and live fire against the protesters.

On Friday, similar anti-occupation mass rallies hit Gaza, with Palestinians burning tires and throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with firing live ammunition and tear gas.

Over 30 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military over the past week.

Corbyn told the crowd that Palestinians have “a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.”

Protesters rally in support of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in central London on April 7, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The opposition party leader also urged Prime Minister Theresa May to support the United Nation’s call for an independent international investigation into the killings.

"The UK Government must support the UN secretary-general's call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law,” Corbyn added.

For the second consecutive week, the US blocked a UN Security Council (UNSC) statement calling for an investigation into recent killing.

Israel has tightened military presence on the Gaza fence, deploying armored vehicles, back-up special forces and snipers. The regime’s forces have also the permission to open fire on unnamed Gazans.

The UK government, meanwhile, continues to approve millions of pounds worth of arms and weapons technology exports to Israel each year.

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