UK opposition leader condemns Israel's 'appalling' Gaza protest killings
The leader of the UK's main opposition party has denounced Israel after its forces killed 16 Palestinian protesters at Gaza's border with Israel, in the bloodiest day since a 2014 war.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday that the attacks on the mass protest - calling for the right to return of Palestinian refugees - was "appalling" and demanded justice.
"The killing and wounding by Israeli forces of civilians demonstrating for Palestinian rights in Gaza is appalling," Corbyn tweeted.
"The UK Government must make its voice heard on the urgency of a genuine settlement for peace and justice," he added.
Israeli forces opened fire on tens of thousands of Gazan protesters near the border on Friday, using live fire and tear gas to force back smaller numbers of demonstrators who approached the heavily fortified border fence.
The UK government has yet to comment on the attacks, which have injured over 1,400 people - 758 of them by live fire.
The New Arab has reached out to UK authorities for comment but has yet to receive a response.
Labour lawmaker John McDonnell on Saturday, condemned Israel for its "disproportionate response" to the protest, dubbed the Great March of Return.
"How many more Palestinians have to die from sniper bullets before the international community, including the UK government, mobilises to press Israel to end this disproportionate response to the Gaza demonstrations?" McDonnell tweeted.
On the diplomatic front, UN chief Antonio Guterres and European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini have called for an "independent and transparent investigation" into Israel's use of live ammunition.
But a motion put forward before the UN Security Council by Kuwait late on Saturday calling for such a move was rejected by the United States.
Israel has defended the army fire at Palestinians who broke away from the main protest of tens of thousands and neared the heavily fortified fence around the Gaza Strip.
"Well done to our soldiers," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote in a statement Saturday.
"Israel acts vigorously and with determination to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens."
Many social media have been users quick to criticise the false equivalency between the Israeli military and unarmed Palestinian protesters.