Prime Minister Theresa May has described the loss of life in Gaza protests as “tragic and extremely concerning” and urged Israel to show restraint.

Mrs May called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into the incident. While accepting that Israel had the right to defend its borders, she said its use of live ammunition was “deeply troubling”.

Some 59 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,500 injured when Israeli troops opened fire at protesters approaching the border fence on Monday.

Amid growing international condemnation and protests i London, Israel insisted it had the right to defend its border against a possible mass breach and accused the militant Hamas movement of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests.

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The tragic scenes overshadowed Mrs May’s meeting at 10 Downing Street with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan has called an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Friday to discuss the Gaza violence.