U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and has spoken out to condemn the deaths of Palestinian protesters during demonstrations along Israel's southern border.
“The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response,” Sanders, posted to social media.
About 18 Palestinians were killed by live ammunition and rubber bullets discharged by Israeli troops along the Israel-Gaza border Friday, CNN reported.
“The situation in Gaza remains a humanitarian disaster. The U.S. must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all,” Sanders added.
A video of the clash between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters made the rounds on social media. Over 1,400 people were wounded, 758 reportedly by live fire, HispanTV reported citing figures from the Gazan health ministry.
“This is the biggest proof of insincerity of those who fixate on us but say nothing about Israel using heavy weapons to attack people who are protesting on their own lands,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the attack.
But, Ankara has faced its own backlash for operations in northern Syria. On January 20, Turkey launched a cross-border operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in its enclave of Afrin.
Erdogan added: “Have you heard any noteworthy objections to the massacre by Israel that happened yesterday in Gaza from those who criticize the Afrin operation?”
A Middle East Eye report claim Erdogan asked U.S. President Donald Trump when will he intervene. The Turkish foreign ministry accused Israel of using “disproportionate force” against Palestinians who were engaged in “peaceful protests.”
According to Deutsche Welle, European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, in a statement, said: "The EU mourns the loss of life… The use of live ammunition should, in particular, be part of an independent and transparent investigation. While Israel has the right to protect its borders, the use of force must be proportionate at all times.”
On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu praised his troops for “guarding the country's borders.”
"Well done to our soldiers," the PM wrote in a statement. "Israel acts vigorously and with determination to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens."
The Israeli army claimed it only opened fire out of necessity to stem progressive violent advances. The protesters were protesting for the return of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian in detainment.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared Saturday a day of national mourning, while thousands attended funerals for 14 of those killed.