Slaughter of Palestinians ‘deplorable’ - SDLP Leader

An elderly Palestinian man falls on the ground after being shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza's border with Israel, as Israel celebrates the inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
An elderly Palestinian man falls on the ground after being shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza's border with Israel, as Israel celebrates the inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has branded the “slaughter of Gazans” over the past 24 hours “absolutely deplorable”.

The Foyle MLA was speaking following the violent scenes during the controversial opening of the US embassy in the highly contested East Jerusalem.

It has now emerged that 58 Palestinians were killed and thousands wounded after the Israeli Defence Force opened fire on protesters at the border between Gaza and Israel.

Mr Eastwood said Western powers must collectively step up and “ensure a massacre like today’s never happens again”.

Speaking last night Mr Eastwood said:“Today’s scenes from Gaza are deplorable and the actions of the Israeli Defence Force against protestors is sickening, yet such actions by the IDF will hardly come as a shock to many.

“It is high time that the West stopped accepting that the slaughter of men, women and children is an inevitable, everyday occurrence in the Middle East.

“It would seem that the USA Government have walked off the pitch when it comes to diplomacy in the Middle East.

“Therefore, it is imperative that the European Union step in and address the diplomatic and humanitarian void to end the bloodshed inflicted upon Gazans.”