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UN envoy urges Israel to show restraint ahead of Palestinian protests

JERUSALEM - UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov on Thursday urged Israel to show "maximum restraint" and Palestinians to "avoid friction" during protests at the Gaza-Israel border.

He voiced concern ahead of Friday, the Muslim sabbath, when the number of Palestinian protesters at the Gaza-Israel border is expected to increase.

"I am following with concern the continuing preparations and rhetoric for this Friday’s ‘Great Return March’ in Gaza," said Mladenov, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

"Israeli forces should exercise maximum restraint and Palestinians should avoid friction at the Gaza fence. Demonstrations and protests must be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner. Civilians, particularly children, must not be intentionally put in danger or targeted in any way."
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