The leadership of the European Muslim League today condemns what can only be described as a massacre of those Palestinian civilians who protested the move of the American embassy to Jerusalem, and the expulsion of Palestnians from their homes 70 years ago.These civilians took to the streets in the spirit of Gandhi-style resistance, as is their right under international law. That Ramadan is nearly upon us, their actions were all the more poignant in this latest dark chapter in Middle Eastern politics.
Today the funerals begin of nearly 60 Palestinians who were targeted and shot dead largely at the cross hairs of Israeli snipers while another 2700 Palestinians were injured.
It is also worth noting our condemnation is matched by the words of many European leaders and from other countries around the world and we also join them in calling for restraint by Israel.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the violence Israeli armed forces meted out to Palestinian protesters and called for restraint and de-escalation during his phone calls with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the French presidency in a statement.
He also reiterated France's disapproval of the American decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem, in the particular context of the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence and the commemoration of exile for many Palestinian families.
"The status of Jerusalem can only be determined between the parties, in a framework negotiated under the auspices of the international community," Macron said.
Israel's actions were also condemned or criticised by the Britain, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon and other nations, which is welcomed by EML as was Kuwait's decision to draft a UN Security Council statement calling for an independent inquiry into the violence. Sadly this was blocked by the US. Meanwhile Russia said it was watching closely, adding that the Palestinian death toll could not "but provoke the deepest concern."
South Africa also acted by recalling its Israeli ambassador.
Once again the EML joins in the universal calls for restraint and calm. Our thoughts go out to the families of the dead and injured following the massacre. Ramadan is almost here and this blessed month will prove more challenging than ever for those who've lost their loved ones.