MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Moscow supports a demand by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to conduct an investigation into the death of civilians in the Gaza Strip during the Great March of Return, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.
"According to available information, 10 Palestinians, including one reporter and two teenagers, were killed and more than a thousand poisoned with tear gas or injured as a result of the Israeli army’s actions, including with the use of artillery weapons to terminate these demonstrations. So, a total number of Palestinians killed in the past two weeks of mass protests has reached 30 people," the ministry pointed out. "In addition, on the morning of April 9, the Israeli aviation conducted several missile strikes over facilities in Gaza."
"Considering the indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population as absolutely unacceptable, we call on the Palestinians and the Israelis once more to hold off from moves that could provoke further dangerous escalation of tensions. Moscow supports demands to carry out an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for," the ministry stressed.
The Russian side proceeds from the fact that "a fundamental cause for systematic upticks in confrontation and violence has been the absence of any developments in the long-term and just Palestinian-Israeli settlement."
"We are confident that not just urgent measures to stabilize and de-escalate the situation, but also specific political efforts aimed at achieving stable peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis on the established international legal basis are in great demand in the current situation," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
On March 30, tens of thousands of Arabs joined protest actions on Land Day along the border of the Palestinian enclave, demanding a return of Palestinian refugees to their homes. These protests broke out into clashes with Israel’s army and police in many areas. On April 6, the Great March of Return after a Friday prayer the Palestinians organized mass demonstrations that broke into clashes.
Land Day is celebrated in the memory of six Palestinians who died in 1976 during protests against the alienation of hundreds of land plots belonging to Arabs. The march will reach its highest point on May 15, when Palestinians celebrate Nakba Day (Day of the Catastrophe). Millions of people will march from the Strip to a dividing facility on the border with the Jewish state on this day.