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Iran says Israelis should be tried as ‘war criminals’

Tehran, Iran | AFP | Iran said on Tuesday that Israeli officials should be tried as war criminals over the “brutal massacre” of Gazan protesters the previous day.

“The killing of children, women and defenceless people of Palestine and the occupation of Palestinian lands has become the main strategy of the Zionists over the 70 years of occupation,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on the ministry’s website.

He called on the international community to take “immediate action” and try Israeli leaders as “war criminals in international courts”.

At least 59 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured by Israeli forces on Monday as they protested along the Gaza border against the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

“The constant and continued crimes of the Zionists in Palestine is the result of the unsparing support of the US,” Ghasemi said.

He accused countries in the region — an apparent reference to Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia — of a “treacherous compromise and undignified passivity” for failing to strongly condemn Israeli actions.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem was part of its attempts to undermine international institutions, along with its withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and Iran nuclear agreement.

“All these cases show that America intends to destroy the international institution of the United Nations,” he told parliament on Tuesday.

“It is driving the international scene to a kind of security chaos,” he added.

The US blocked a UN resolution on Monday calling for an international investigation into the Gaza killings.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced “a day of great shame”.

“Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in the world’s largest open air prison,” he wrote on Twitter.

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