Abbas: Keep children away from the border

Criticism of Hamas? PA chairman calls for Palestinian Arabs to keep their children from protests along the border between Israel and Gaza.

Ben Ariel,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas appeared to have criticized Hamas on Monday, when he called for Palestinian Arabs to keep their children from protests along the border between Israel and Gaza.

"Keep the young men from the border, move the children away, we do not want to become handicapped people," he said in a speech in Ramallah, according to AFP.

Since March 30, Gazans have been holding weekly marches towards the border with Israel, clashing with IDF soldiers and throwing rocks, firebombs and kites with flaming objects attached.

48 Palestinian Arabs have reportedly been killed and hundreds injured in the clashes since they began, and at least six of the dead have been aged 18 or younger, according to AFP.

Speaking at the opening of a rare meeting of the Palestinian National Council on Monday, Abbas said he supported "peaceful" protests along the border but wanted to "protect the next generation".

He did not specifically mention Hamas, but the terrorist group’s leaders have openly encouraged the violent riots. On Saturday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Gazans to continue marching towards the border with Israel and to intensify their confrontations with the IDF.

The deaths of youngsters have led to criticism of Israel's use of live ammunition, particularly by UN officials.

After a 15-year-old was killed, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, accused Israel of killing children.

Last Friday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein criticized Israel over the riots along the Gaza border.

Al Hussein urged Israeli forces to stop using force to prevent Arab rioters from charging Israel’s security fence, and demanded that Israeli troops who do use force to defend the border “be held accountable."




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