Gaza deaths: "They were terrorists"

The Israeli ambassador to Belgium, Simona Frankel, has told Belgian TV viewers that all the Palestinians killed during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip on Monday were “terrorists”.

Ms Frankel said that she regretted all deaths, even those of the "55 terrorists" who attempted to cross the border. The Palestinians were shot by the Israeli army as they protested against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Those killed included children and a baby. Ms Frankel accused the "terrorist outfit Hamas" of taking the population hostage and of hastening their deaths: "Hamas is the only body responsible for their deaths."

Quizzed about the claim by the Belgian foreign minister that “disproportionate violence was being used Ms Frankel wondered whether Israeli fatalities were required in order to speak of “proportionate” violence.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has condemned the violence. He is seeking an independent investigation and is eager to see the EU play a political role. Mr Michel described the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem as "very dangerous".

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