United Nations mulls global war crimes probe of Gaza killings

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"We must strive for a future where Israel and Palestine thrive as states in which all are equally respected, and where civil society is able to play its constructive role", she said.

The veteran peace negotiator, who was at the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday to attend a meeting on the Palestinian issue, said "It is not Hamas which is responsible for the killing fields that Israel has carried out in Gaza".

The day is being marked as Israeli troops shot dead at least 61 Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday when United States embassy was being opened in Jerusalem, a move that stirred concerns in Middle East and the Muslim world. The council session would only serve to "empower Hamas and reward its terror strategy and its use of civilians as human shields to advance its terror activities against the citizens of Israel". The U.S. blocked the statement, saying it was one-sided and faulting it for not mentioning incitement of violence by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza and led the demonstration.

The Israeli Defense Force outlined their targeted attack on a terror tunnel along the strip, "making this the 9th terror tunnel that the IDF has destroyed in recent months".

The draft expresses "grave concern at the escalation of violence and tensions and the deterioration of the situation" in Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, since March 30 - and at the loss of civilian lives and high casualties.

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The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also called on the worldwide community to stop the violence against Palestinians and end Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, state news agency Wam reported.

The two-day Forum marks the anniversary of the 1948 War and mass displacement of Palestinians, convened by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Capping weeks of protests, about 40,000 Gaza residents descended on the border area Monday.

Except, of course, Israeli soldiers fired carefully.

The embassy said that Israel was being unjustly accused of using disproportionate force against Hamas.

Hamas said Wednesday that 50 of the dead were members.

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