On Friday, March 30, 2018, 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more injured after clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Border.
The clash took place during a series of Palestinian protests regarding the commemoration of the loss of their land to Israel, alleged intensification of Israel’s aggression toward Palestine and U.S. President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Of the 16 people killed by the Israel Defense Forces, one was wheelchair bound and another was a farmer who was allegedly not at the protests. A fellow farmer placed him near the scene collecting parsley in his field when he was shot by a tank. Other recorded injuries are because of live shrapnel, rubber bullets and tear gas.
The U.N. Secretary General has expressed his concern over the clashes, urging both sides to stop participating in any act that could increase tensions or casualties.
“This tragedy underlines the urgency of revitalizing the peace process aiming at creating the conditions for a return to meaningful negotiations for a peaceful solution that will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live side by side peacefully and in security,” a U.N. spokesman said in a statement.
Some reports indicate that the demonstrations held in support of Palestine were peaceful.
“However, there are also reports that some protestors engaged in stone-throwing and violent behavior; some reportedly carrying weapons,” added Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs.
“The large crowds … reflect the Palestinian people’s determination to achieve the right of return and break the siege, and no force can stop this right,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Defense Minister, tweeted a message to the contrary, a warning to the people of Gaza.
“Everyone approaching the wall endangers his life, I advise you to continue your normal lives and not engage in provocation,” Liberman tweeted, in Arabic, March 30.
The U.N. Security General Antonio Guterres has recommended an independent investigation into the deaths. However, the Security Council did not decide on any action or joint message after they held an emergency meeting March 30.
Liberman refused the calls for an investigation and added that Israel will not cooperate with any international inquiries into the excessive use of force that resulted in the deaths of the protestors.
Photo credits toAP Photo/Adel Hana.