Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized Israel for its propaganda against the people of the Gaza Strip who have been protesting against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday that Israel’s statement about dozens of “peaceful” protesters killed on the Gaza border by Israeli forces on Monday was an act of blasphemy.
“I cannot agree with the fact that dozens of peaceful civilians, including children and infants, who were killed in these incidents were terrorists. This is a blasphemous statement,” Lavrov said.
Israeli forces killed at least 62 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.
More than 2,700 Palestinians were also wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators.
Palestinian authorities on Wednesday urged United Nations to condemn the killings of the protesters at the Gaza border was war crimes.
“Of course, this massacre is taking place at the same time when the United States of America illegally and unilaterally and in a provocative way is opening its embassy,” said the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, in an address to the UN Security Council.
The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, announced Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the United States would move the US embassy to the city.
The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
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.