U.N. envoy calls for civilians in Gaza to be kept out of harm's way

Israel should “exercise maximum restraint,” he said, and the Palestinians “should avoid friction at the Gaza fence.”

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April 5, 2018 16:43
1 minute read.
Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal

Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Amid concerns that Friday's protest in the Gaza Strip will again turn violent, UN special envoy Nickolay Mladenov on Thursday said that civilians must not intentionally put in harm's way.

Israel maintains that the Palestinians are using civilians as “human shields” in an effort to damage and breach the border fence with Israel.

Mladenov issued a statement saying that he was following “with concern the continuing preparations and rhetoric for this Friday’s ‘Great Return March’ in Gaza.”

Israel should “exercise maximum restraint,” he said, and the Palestinians “should avoid friction at the Gaza fence.”

While demonstrations and protests must “ be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner,” he wrote, “civilians, particularly children, must not be intentionally put in danger or targeted in any way.”

Following last week's march when 15 people were killed, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres 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..”

He also called for “an independent and transparent investigation” into the incidents.

“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,” he said, reaffirming “the readiness of the United Nations to support these efforts.”


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