Iran urges independent international probe into Israel crimes

Iran urges independent international probe into Israel crimes

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has condemned Israel as a “brutal and rogue apartheid regime” for its recent massacre of the Palestinian people, urging a "transparent and independent" international probe into the Zionists' crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Zarif made the remarks in an address to a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers on Palestine in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday following the recent massacre of tens of Palestinians during anti-occupation protest rallies along the border between the Gaza Strip and occupied territories.

“In light of the massacre in Gaza, the international community is entitled to demand an end to the impunity of this brutal and rogue apartheid regime,” the Iranian minister said.

He added that the OIC should "reinforce the call for bringing the perpetrators to justice."

"We need to take concrete action in the United Nations system, including by pushing for a transparent and independent international inquiry and asking for providing international protection for the Palestinians as envisaged in international humanitarian law," Zarif pointed out.

He also stressed the importance of pressing upon the UN Security Council to live up to its primary responsibility.

At least 62 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (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.

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 top Iranian diplomat further commended the move by the Turkish government to act promptly on the horrific situation unfolding in occupied Palestine and said, "The outrageous massacre of peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which constitutes war crime and crime against humanity, was the culmination of a new round of malicious acts undertaken in the past 6 months to suppress the Palestinians who dare to demand their basic rights."

He slammed the US president's "unlawful" announcement regarding al-Quds and his "dangerous" move to implement the decision on Nakba Day and said such measures "triggered the tragedy and emboldened the occupiers to embark on a series of cold blooded massacres, the latest of which included snipers shooting children in the back."

Zarif emphasized that the OIC member states should close ranks with other organizations, the overwhelming majority of states, and international grass root movements which oppose the "US unilateralism, bullying tactics and contempt for international law" and condemn the Israeli regime's occupation and brutality.

"What has further emboldened the Zionist enemy is our disunity despite of our common past and common destiny and in spite of all the challenges and opportunities that bind us together," he said.

He added that protecting al-Quds "now more than ever should serve as our rallying point," and called on the OIC states to reinforce their unity "to create a strong Ummah, rather than engaging in pointless quarrels."

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.

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