May expresses concern over Gaza as protesters slam Netanyahu's visit

May expresses concern over Gaza as protesters slam Netanyahu's visit
Protesters gathered outside Downing Street ahead of the British Prime Minister's meeting with Netanyahu rejecting his visit.
2 min read
06 June, 2018
Netanyahu hopes to impress upon his European allies the danger of Iran's "regional aggression" [Getty]

British Prime Minister Theresa May told her Israeli counterpart Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that she is concerned about the death of protesters in Gaza.

"We have been concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives," May told the Israeli leader.

While Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the Gaza massacre, British protesters gathered outside Downing Street in the capital, rejecting Netanyahu's visit and condemning Israeli violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli leader arrived in London on Wednesday after meeting with the French president Emmanuel Macron yesterday, part of a European tour to warn countries over Iran's "regional aggression".

At a press conference with the visiting Israeli prime minister, Macron called on "everyone to stabilise the situation and not give into this escalation which would lead to only one thing: conflict".

He added that the Iranian decision to expand its nuclear infrastructure did not constitute grounds for quitting a 2015 deal designed to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb.

The deal hangs by a thread after the US withdrew last month - a move applauded by Iran's arch-foe Israel - but so far fellow signatories France, Britain, Germany, China, Russia and the EU, have stood firm.

Relations between Israel and the European Union show signs of strain over the killing of 126 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March.

More than 10,000 Palestinians have been injured since mass demonstrations started on March 30.

The demonstrations and violence peaked on May 14 when at least 61 Palestinians were killed as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the US transfer of its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem the same day.

The protests - dubbed "Great Return March" - have centred on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, after they were expelled following the 1948 creation of Israel.