‘Profoundly Alarmed’ by Escalation of Violence in Occupied Palestinian Territory – United Nation

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

A Palestinians searches through rubble of his destroyed homes hit by Israeli strikes in the northern Gaza Strip
UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

The Secretary-General is profoundly alarmed by the sharp escalation of violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the high number of Palestinians killed and injured in the Gaza protests.

Israel security forces must exercise maximum restraint in the use of live fire. Hamas and the leaders of the demonstrations have a responsibility to prevent all violent actions and provocations.

With tensions high and more demonstrations expected in the coming days, it is imperative that everyone show the utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life, including ensuring that all civilians and particularly children are not put in harm’s way.

Hospitals report that essential medical supplies, drugs and equipment have already been exhausted. Humanitarian funding and improved access is urgently needed to meet these and other existing or emerging needs.

The ongoing violence underscores the urgent need for a political solution. The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no viable alternative to the two‑State solution, with Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace, each with its capital in Jerusalem.

According to media reports, more than 50 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,000 wounded in Gaza – the Palestinian enclave occupied by Israel, as the Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters assembled along the fence with Israel.

It was the highest Palestinian death toll in a single day since Hamas-led demonstrations began along the border fence on March 30; and the highest number of casualties inflicted since the 2014 conflict with Israel inside Gaza.

During the six-weeks of demonstrations which organizers have called “the Great March of Return,” thousands of Palestinians have converged at the border to protest the long-standing blockade of the enclave. Israel has accused Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militants of using the protests – involving women, children, and elderly civilians – as a pretext to infiltrate Israel and carry out terrorist attacks.

In the Monday’s march, many Palestinians were protesting the official move of the United States embassy, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Australian Government expresses its deep regret and sadness over the loss of life and injury during the continuing protests in Gaza.

We recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns and needs to protect its population, and we call on Israel to be proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use of force.

Australia urges Palestinian protesters to refrain from violence and attempting to enter into Israeli territory during the March of Return.

The violence underlines the importance of a return to negotiations toward a two-state solution so an enduring peace can be found.

The Australian Government is committed to a future where Israel and a Palestinian state exist side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders.

Reporti News Team

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