Comment by the Information and Press Department on clashes on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip
Tension has flared up on the Gaza Strip border in recent days as the Palestinian leaders announced their plan to support the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their lands by holding The Great Return March from March 30 to May 15. For their part, the Israeli authorities have built up their military presence on the sector’s border.
By March 30, an estimated 30,000 Gaza Palestinians were massed on the border with Israel. Despite march organisers’ repeated appeals for restraint, riots began, to which the Israelis responded with small arms and tank fire. Incoming reports say that 17 persons died.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an independent and transparent investigation.
We express our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the dead Palestinians and wish an early recovery to all those injured during the clashes on the border between Gaza Strip and Israel. We resolutely condemn the indiscriminate use of force against civilians. We call on the parties to refrain from steps capable of leading to an additional rise in tension and the deterioration of the situation.
The dramatic surge in tension on the Israeli-Gaza border reaffirms the need for the international community to urgently step up efforts to resume the search for a fair Palestinian-Israeli settlement on a generally recognized international legal basis. It is only in this case that the Palestinians can implement their legitimate national aspirations and Israel can reliably ensure its security.