Palestinians observe day of mourning

Palestinians observe day of mourning

Palestinians observed a day of mourning on Saturday to protest the martyrdom of fifteen people by Israeli forces.

Call for observing the mourning day was given by President Mahmoud Abbas.

A general strike was held in Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank. A number of Palestinians were injured during confrontations with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Meanwhile, the protesters have started returning to a tent city erected near Gaza's border with Israel to resume the demonstration planned to last for six weeks.

On the other hand, thousands of people attended funerals for those martyred by Israeli forces yesterday. The mourners carried pictures of the martyrs, calling for protection to the Palestinian people from Israeli aggression.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent and transparent investigation into the deaths and injuries in Gaza on Friday, his spokesman said in a statement.

“He also appeals 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,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Meanwhile, According to the Press TV, the Israeli military has threatened to step up it “response” if tensions continue on the Gaza border shortly after the UN held an emergency meeting over the regime’s massacre of over a dozen Palestinians during an anti-occupation mass rally in the coastal enclave.

Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Saturday that the regime has thus far restricted its response to those he claimed to be trying to breach Gaza’s border with the occupied territories.

He added that the military would, however go after those behind the angry demonstrations “in other places too.”

According to the figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry, 16 Palestinians were killed and over 1,400 others wounded on Friday after Israeli forces fired live ammunition at Palestinian protesters marking Land Day and used tear gas to push them back from a heavily fortified border fence.

Ahead of the protest, the Israeli military had deployed tanks and 100 snipers with the authority to use live rounds on the Gaza border.

The latest threat came a day after the 15-member Security Council met at Kuwait’s request, with its UN representative Mansour al-Otaibi describing the situation in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip as “very dangerous.”

Meanwhile, assistant UN secretary general for political affairs, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, urged maximum restraint amid “fear that the situation might deteriorate in the coming days.”

“Israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights and humanitarian law. Lethal force should only be used as a last resort with any resulting fatalities properly investigated by the authorities,” he added.

Additionally on Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged “an independent and transparent investigation” into the Gaza clashes and reaffirmed the world body’s “readiness” to support the so-called peace process.

Farhan Haq, a deputy spokesperson for Guterres, quoted the UN chief as saying that the Gaza “tragedy underlines the urgency of revitalizing the peace process aiming at creating the conditions for a return to meaningful negotiations for a peaceful solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Muslim world reacts

Meanwhile, Muslim nations voiced their outrage over the Israeli military’s response to the mass demonstration in Gaza.

In a statement on Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Israel of using “disproportionate force” against the Palestinians and expressed “concerns” over the casualties of Friday’s clashes.

It also called on Tel Aviv to “rapidly” stop resorting to force and “give up on its hostile attitude.”

Additionally, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said the Israeli escalation was a violation of international laws and conventions.

It further called on the international community and the Security Council to assume their responsibility in containing the Israeli war machine against the Palestinian people.

Doha also stressed its support for Palestinian rights, including the right to return to their homeland.

Moreover, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli attacks and warned that regime's persistence in violence drags the whole region to the abyss.

He said in a press release that the Israeli occupation shoulders the legal, political and moral responsibility for such violations.