Bishops from the Catholic and Anglican churches have joined to condemn the killings of more than 50 people as the new US embassy in Jerusalem was inaugurated.
A day of confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers close to the border with Israel left at least 55 Palestinians dead and more than 2,700 injured, medical sources said. The violence prompted anti-Israel protests by activists in London.
Bishop of Clifton Declan Lang, chair of the Holy Land Coordination and Bishop Christopher Chessun, Anglican Bishop of Southwark, said: “The terrible loss of life in Gaza caused by the Israeli army's use of live fire against civilians is to be condemned unequivocally.
"These protests take place against the drastically deteriorating humanitarian situation which leaves little hope and continues to undermine a peaceful resolution. Hundreds of families across Gaza are now mourning their loved ones, dead and wounded.
"Israel has a right to defend itself but also has the moral and legal responsibility not to use disproportionate force and not to prevent the injured from receiving medical treatment. All violence is destructive to peace efforts and our cry is for a peaceful two state solution with Jerusalem as the shared capital.
"We pray for all those who suffer from this conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem."
The violence broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers at the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and now feel that the US cannot be a fair broker in the peace process with Israel.
Many Israelis see opening the embassy as the long-awaited official recognition of Jerusalem as their capital.
Israel says many of the protesters are members of Hamas who are using Palestinians as pawns in the violent protests along the Gaza border, which began March 30.
Pic: Palestinians clash with Israeli troops near the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on May 14, 2018. A daylong of violent confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel left at least 55 Palestinians dead and 2,771 injured, said medical sources. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)