Turkey and Egypt have issued statements condemning Israel and blaming it for Monday’s escalation on the Gaza border, where about 50 Palestinians were reported killed.

An illustrative photo of a riot in Gaza

An illustrative photo of a riot in Gaza Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib, Flash 90

Middle Eastern leaders condemned Israel on Monday after about 50 Palestinians were reported killed in violent riots along the Gaza border.

“The United States is just as responsible for this slaughter as the government of Israel,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Describing the riots in Gaza as “peaceful protests,” Ankara claimed that Washington’s decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem “prompted” Israeli forces to shoot at Palestinians.

Egypt also accused Israel of purposely targeting Palestinian civilians. “Egypt resents the use of force against peaceful marches which demand just and legitimate rights, and it warns of the negative repercussions of this dangerous escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the government in Cairo stated.

The UN Security Council has announced it will hold an emergency meeting either today or tomorrow to discuss the tensions in Gaza. Secretary-General António Guterres said he is “concerned in light of the news coming from Gaza and the high death toll.”

A spokesperson for the Palestinian government in Ramallah called on the international community to intervene in order to “stop the horrible slaughter conducted by the Israeli occupation forces against heroic civilians.” The Palestinian Authority has declared tomorrow as a national day of mourning.