June 6, 2018 / 1:41 PM / in 15 days

Britain's May tells Netanyahu of concern over Gaza deaths

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is concerned about the deaths of protesters in Gaza, Prime Minister Theresa May told Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, saying that the situation had deteriorated.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Downing Street in London, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

Over 100 Palestinians have been killed in weekly demonstrations launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas.

“We have been concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives,” May told Netanyahu ahead of talks in London, adding that Britain recognised the Israel’s right to self-defence.

May said it was important to alleviate the situation and restart talks about a two-state solution to the conflict, which have been frozen since 2014.

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Netanyahu said responsibility for the violence lay with Hamas.

“I think the problems there are rooted in the fundamental goal of Hamas to destroy Israel. We are not witnessing peaceful protests,” he said.

“We are doing everything we can to both minimise casualties and at the same time protect Israeli lives.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Stephen Addison, Editing by Michael Holden

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