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UN holds emergency meeting to discuss Gaza protests

New York [USA], May 15 : The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday held an emergency meeting to discuss on the outcome of the ongoing Gaza border protests, which has claimed 60 lives so far.

The meeting was facilitated after Kuwait on Monday requested the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting over the same, CNN reported.

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, said, "We condemn in the strongest term this atrocity by the Israeli occupying forces using this massive firepower against civilians who have the right to demonstrate peacefully."

He further demanded international protection for the Palestinians and called the ongoing protests as "acts of war crimes."

While speaking at the council meeting, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Israel acted with "restraint" during the protests along the Gaza border.

"I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained," Haley said.

Meanwhile, Israel's ambassador to the UN claimed that the Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza was responsible for orchestrating the violent riots. He also added that Iran was supporting the protests.

"We do have an indication of Iranian funding into Hamas, we have an indication of a connection between Hamas and Hezbollah. We know that the riots are well organized, well-funded, well-orchestrated by Hamas, and we do have that information. I hope in the future we can reveal more of that information, but I can say to you today that Iran is supporting the riots in Gaza," Danon said.
For those unversed, Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Shiite political and militant group in Lebanon.
Protests continued on Tuesday on the occasion at 'Nakba Day' on the Gaza-Israel border, Bethlehem and Beit El, a day after the US embassy officially opened in Jerusalem.

According to Sputnik, May 15 marks the so-called Nakba Day ('Catastrophe' in Arabic), which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian exodus that resulted from Israel's declaration of independence in 1948.

So far, 60 Palestinian demonstrators have died in the violent clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. This is the biggest number of fatalities suffered in one day since the latest round of demonstrations began in March.

Many countries have condemned the violent protests and have called for international action against the "massacre committed by the Israeli soldiers."

Jerusalem is considered a sacred place, which is home to Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. However, it is also a disputed territory, contested by both Israel and Palestine, which sees it as a capital of its future state.

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