Published: 2018-03-31 11:48
Last Updated: 2018-03-31 11:48
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent and transparent investigation into the clashes that took place on Friday during the “Great Return March” between Palestinians and Israeli forces, near the Gaza border. At least 15 Palestinians were killed and more than a thousand injured during the clashes.
UN spokesperson Farhan Haq, elaborated on Guterres’s statement by saying "He also appeals to those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and in particular any measures that could place civilians in harm's way”.
The UN Security Council held an urgent session on Friday to discuss the latest updates in Gaza responding to a call by Kuwait. The council session failed to end with a joint statement.
The United States and the United Kingdom regretted the timing of the session as it coincided with the first night of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which meant Israelis would not join.
A US diplomat called for a balanced approach and wished that "an arrangement for all parties to participate tonight," was established. "We are deeply saddened by the loss of life today," the diplomat added.
Tens of thousands gathered near the Gaza borders on Friday during mass sit-ins as part of the“Great Return March” in commemoration of Land Day. The march was scheduled as a peaceful demonstration by Palestinian factions, especially Hamas, in boycott of Trump’s embassy relocation to Jerusalem.
Israel had responded by preparing to face the demonstrations by deploying snipers, Special Forces and paramilitary border police units, who specialize in riot control.