IDF forces near Gaza
IDF forces near Gaza IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Egypt and Jordan on Friday criticized Israel following the deaths of Gazans who marched in large numbers to the Gaza-Israel border and clashed with IDF soldiers.

At least 30,000 Arabs marched towards the border on Friday, hurling rocks and firebombs at soldiers.

The Gaza health bureau said 15 Arabs were killed in the disturbances and that more than 1,400 were injured.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by AFP it “denounces the use of force against civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Jordan’s government spokesman, Mohammad Momani, accused Israel of using "excessive force against peaceful protesters who were marching to commemorate the Land Day and affirm their legitimate rights in accordance with international law and norms.”

In a statement published by Jordan’s official Petra news agency, Momani urged the international community “to pressure Israel to abide by its obligations as the occupying power and address the humanitarian crisis the coastal territory has been experiencing for years now.”

He warned that “failure to find a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue will further exacerbate despair and fuel extremism and violence and ultimately serve [the] terrorist agenda.”

The criticism by Egypt and Jordan, both of which signed peace treaties with Israel, followed earlier criticism by Turkey, which accused Israel of using “disproportionate force” against the Arab rioters.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for the deaths of the rioters, claiming that “the occupation army attacked non-violent demonstrators who went out to mark Land Day and to emphasize that they adhere to their right to self-determination.”

The UN Security Council announced it would hold closed-door talks later on Friday about the situation in Gaza. The meeting will be held at the request of Kuwait.

Ahead of the meeting, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said, “As we warned, the so-called peace march today turned out to be a well-organized and violent terror-gathering funded by Hamas. The sole purpose of these provocations is to threaten Israel and sow unrest.”

“Today we saw yet another example of Hamas exploiting civilians as they sent children to the fence with Israel intentionally endangering their lives. The international community must not be deceived by Hamas’ attempts to conceal their crimes,” added Danon.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat and Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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