Published: 2018-04-05 18:57
Last Updated: 2018-04-05 18:57
In advance of the Friday protests scheduled in Gaza as part of “Great Return March”,, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, released a statement in defence of Palestinians.
In it, he asserted he was “following with concern the continuing preparations and rhetoric for this Friday’s ‘Great Return March’ in Gaza.” He continued to say that Israel should “exercise maximum restraint” and that Palestinians “should avoid friction at the Gaza fence.”
He affirmed Palestinians’ right to protest peacefully and stated that civilians should not be targeted or intentionally endangered in any way.
The tone of the statement is similar to the one made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres after more than a dozen Palestinians were killed last Friday, where he appealed 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 death toll of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli fire since the mass demonstrations and sit-ins started near the Gaza borders began has reached 19, after a man died due to wounds sustained last Friday and another was targeted by an Israeli drone on Thursday.