09:58 GMT +318 October 2018
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    Israeli soldiers, waiting for orders to enter the Gaza Strip

    France Calls on Israel to Exercise Restraint After Palestinian Killings

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    France is calling on Israel to exercise maximal restraint against the backdrop of the protests on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip that have already turned violent, the French Foreign Ministry said in a Sunday statement.

    "France expresses deep concerns over the serious incidents that have taken place recently in the Gaza Strip. France reminds Israeli authorities of their responsibility to protect civilians and calls on them to exercise maximal restraint," the statement said.

    The ministry said that the Palestinians had the right to gather peacefully.

    On Friday, a mass protest, which is expected to last for over a month, started along the Israeli border to attract attention to the problem of Palestinian refugees. During the first day of protests 15 protesters were killed and over 1,500 more were injured. A number of foreign activists have accused Israel of disproportionate use of force against protesters and called for a probe.

    At the same time the Israeli side claimed that it had responded to violent actions of the Palestinians.

    The Palestinian protest dubbed "The Great Return March" that started earlier in the week is dedicated to the so-called Land Day commemorating the day in 1976 when Israeli troops killed six Arabs protesting against confiscation of land.

    The protest will reportedly last until May 15, when the Palestinians will commemorate the Nakba (disaster in Arabic), when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced after Israel announced its independence in 1948.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    casualties, violence, protests, French Foreign Ministry, Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel, France
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