UN envoy urges 'restraint' ahead of Gaza border demonstration

Ahead of expected riots on Gaza border, envoy 'urges all to exercise restraint, to proceed in a peaceful manner, and to avoid escalation.'

Tal Polon,

Nickolay Mladenov
Nickolay Mladenov
Reuters

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process, Nickolay Mladenov called for “restraint” ahead of violent demonstrations expected today along the Gaza border.

“In light of today's planned Gaza march, I urge all to exercise restraint, to proceed in a peaceful manner, and to avoid escalation,” he tweeted Friday.

“The UN is working with Egypt and its partners to avoid violence, address all humanitarian issues and support reconciliation,” he added.

The “March of the Return” border demonstrations have been ongoing every Friday since March 30, but in recent weeks have become more frequent. The violent demonstrations often deteriorate into full-scale riots, with demonstrators throwing grenades at IDF soldiers and burning tires.

Tensions between Israel and Hamas have escalated recently after rockets were fired into Israeli territory on Tuesday. One of them, launched towards the sea, fell off the coast of Gush Dan. Another rocket hit a residential building in Be’er Sheva.

Israel's security cabinet decided on Thursday that Israel would not yet embark on a military operation in Gaza, but would wait and respond in accordance with future developments. However, the cabinet did authorize more intensive responses to violent demonstrations near the fence in Gaza and those who launch terror balloons.The new directives are due to be implemented today in the face of the thousands of violent rioters expected to convene along the Gaza border.

A new report in Lebanon's Al Akhbar claimed that Egypt has told Hamas to keep rioters at least 500 meters from the border fence and to prevent them from tangling with Israeli soldiers in order to avoid an escalation with Israel. Egypt also reportedly told the terror group that the UN humanitarian projects must be given a chance to succeed.




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