Turkey condemns killing of Palestinian civilians on Gaza border
Thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s border with Israel on March 30 in the largest such demonstration in recent memory and at least 16 were killed by Israeli fire, with hundreds getting injured.
“We harshly condemn Israel’s attack on defenseless Palestinian civilians who attended the peaceful demonstrations in Gaza today,” Turkish Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın said in a written statement on March 30.
Kalın added that it is “impossible” to accept the loss of lives, injuries, the violation of human dignity and the violation of international law in the region.
“The gradually increasing systematic violence against the Palestinian people has to end immediately,” he said.
“We call on the international community, especially the United Nations, to take action,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also expressed concern over deaths and injuries. “Israel must immediately cease the use of force that will further increase tension in the region,” it stated.
“We invite the international community to fulfill its responsibility to convince Israel to give up on its hostile attitude,” it added.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel, gathered along the fenced 65-km frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, local officials said. The Israeli military estimate was 30,000.
The Israeli military said its troops had used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the border security fence, some of them rolling burning tyres and throwing rocks.
Palestinian health officials said Israeli forces used mostly gunfire against the protesters, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets. Witnesses said the military had deployed a drone over at least one location to drop tear gas.