Saudi Arabia slams Israeli fire in Gaza, silent on Jerusalem

May 15, 2018, 08:20 IST | AFP

"Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces' gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded," a Saudi foreign ministry spokesperson said

Protestors wave Palestinians flags as they take part in a protest march at the Istikilal avenue in Istanbul on May 14, 2018 to demonstrate against US President's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pic/AFP
Protestors wave Palestinians flags as they take part in a protest march at the Istikilal avenue in Istanbul on May 14, 2018 to demonstrate against US President's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pic/AFP

Saudi Arabia condemned Israeli gunfire today that killed at least 52 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others, without mentioning the inauguration of the controversial US embassy in Jerusalem.

"Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces' gunfire against unarmed Palestinian civilians which has left dozens of dead and wounded," a Saudi foreign ministry spokesperson said. The spokesperson, quoted by the kingdom's official SPA press agency, called on the international community to "take responsibility and put an end to the violence against the Palestinians", noting Riyadh's support for the "rights of the Palestinian people".

The spokesperson did not mention the opening of the controversial US embassy in Jerusalem, which also took place on today. Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but their ties have improved recently as the two close ranks with the US against their shared enemy -- Iran.

The transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided holy city, enacted by US President Donald Trump, was condemned by the Arab summit held in Saudi Arabia on April 17. Israeli troops opened fire on Monday as thousands of Palestinians demonstrated along Gaza's border with the Jewish state, protesting the inauguration the US embassy and calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to homes that are now in Israel.

In Qatar, foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwah al-Khater strongly condemned "the massacre" of Palestinians. Cited by Qatar's official QNA news agency, Khater called on the international community to take action and stop "the savage killings".

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