Vietnam concerned over tension in Gaza after USA embassy moved to Jerusalem


The U.S. was among the few countries that came to Israel's defense, backing its right to protect its border on the same day that it countered global disapproval of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Countries have summoned and recalled ambassadors, the United Nations has issued condemnations and some have called for an investigation of Israel's actions.

It called for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul which is to be held tomorrow. An intense backer of the Palestinian reason, Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday blamed Israel for genocide and state terrorism over the killings.

He was echoed by another Turkish political commentator, Ali Ergin Demirhan, who stressed that Washington's decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem was "the last nail in the coffin for the two-state solution concept". Israel has rejected those calls, saying its actions were necessary to stop mass infiltrations from the enclave.

On Wednesday, a senior Hamas official, Salah Bardawil, claimed 50 of the people killed on Monday were its members.

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Another Hamas official did not confirm the number, but said those participating were demonstrating peacefully.

Hamas says it will continue calling for weekly protests during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins Thursday, and scheduled another mass march June 5, the anniversary of the 1967 war. Both sides were waiting to see whether protests would continue on Friday, the day when the rallies over the past six weeks usually peaked.

Turkey on May 15 asked the diplomat to leave the country "for some time" following indiscriminate violence and killings by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border.

The Israeli Air Force has carried out a series of airstrikes against Hamas military facilities in northern Gaza in retaliation for "heavy machine gun fire" that reportedly targeted the city of Sderot.

Palestinian security sources said the target was a Hamas base.

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Hamas in a statement on Thursday signalled it could resort to its weapons in response to this week's violence, but many analysts see the possibility as unlikely for now.

"We have sent clear messages to the enemy via many global and regional leaders that if the blockade continues we will not hesitate to use military resistance", he said.

There's no sign of a significant easing of the blockade, which was imposed by Israel and Egypt after the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have also called for an independent investigation.

Israel has faced global criticism over its use of live fire, but insists its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltration from the Palestinian enclave, which is run by Islamist movement Hamas.

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Dubbed the March of Return, the protests were launched on March 30 to assert the right of Palestinians to return to homes lost to Israel during its founding in 1948.