Israel has expressed regret over a resolution adopted by the Cyprus parliament, condemning Israeli actions in Gaza.
The Israeli embassy in Nicosia said that "regretfully, the House of Representatives of Cyprus adopted a resolution condemning the Israeli actions in Gaza...this statement cannot be justified."
"Israel and Cyprus...together with other like-minded countries in the region, face threats from extremist forces that promote hatred, violence and terrorism against civilians.
We are resolved to defend the vision of Security, Stability and Prosperity, as stated in the Joint declaration of our leaders," the embassy added.
It said the events in Gaza last week, cannot be described as a peaceful protest
It said the events in Gaza last week, cannot be described as a peaceful protest, but rather violent riots orchestrated by Hamas aiming to storm the fence and breaking into Israeli communities and harming local civilians.
"In fact, Hamas paid youngsters and even families to storm the fence, which constitutes the border of Israel, using them as human shields.
Moreover, Hamas admitted that 50 of the 60 people killed in the event came from its ranks," the Israeli Embassy said.
The plenary of the House unanimously approved on May 18 a resolution condemning "the violent acts of the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip."
The resolution noted that the use of military force that caused the death of unarmed civilians cannot be justified.
The House of Representatives also expressed readiness to contribute to peace efforts, within the framework of its competencies for parliamentary diplomacy.
Parliament also called on the US government to reverse its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
The resolution further stated the support of the House to international efforts aiming to the resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians, with a view to reaching a peaceful and lasting solution in the Middle East.
It also reaffirmed its support to a two-state solution, the State of Israel and an independent Palestinian State along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, that will coexist peacefully within the agreed and internationally recognized borders, in line with the relevant UN resolutions.
The House of Representatives expressed finally concern "over the bloody events caused by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip," and conveyed its deep sorrow for the dead and the wounded Palestinians – including many children – as a result of the Israeli army’s violent actions.
The Cyprus government also called for an end to the violence.