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Arab League urges intl. probe into Israeli crimes in Gaza

A general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit has called for an international probe into Israeli crimes against Palestinians in its bloody crackdown on mass protests along the Gaza fence on Monday. 

"We call for a credible international investigation into the crimes committed by the occupation," Abul Gheit said on Thursday at the extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the Gaza carnage.

Israeli forces killed at least 62 Palestinians protesting near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which coincided with Washington’s embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

More than 2,700 Palestinians were also wounded as Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators.

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip, already under-equipped because of the Israeli siege, are struggling to deal with an overwhelming number of casualties. Dozens of the wounded are still in serious or critical condition due to the severity of their injuries.

The carnage took place on the same day the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds despite global condemnation of the move.

"We are facing a state of blatant aggression against international law and legitimacy which was embodied by the US embassy's transfer," Abul Gheit pointed out.

Speaking at the Arab League meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called on Arab states to recall their ambassadors from the United States in protest.

"There is no harm in Arab states collectively recalling their ambassadors in Washington to their capitals for consultations," Maliki said.

Members of the Arab League should summon their ambassadors "to remind them of the Arab rejection of the US embassy's transfer to al-Quds," he added

Maliki reminded that Arab League members had agreed in their previous summit meetings to sever relations with any country that relocated its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” on December 6,  2017 and said the United States would move its embassy to the city.

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere across the world.

The status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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