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EU urges ‘utmost restraint’ after deadly Gaza clashes

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday urges “utmost restraint” after dozens of Palestinians are killed by Israeli fire during violent protests marking the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the “nakba,” or “catastrophe” that resulted in the creation of the State of Israel.

“Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed and hundreds injured from Israeli fire today, during ongoing mass protests near the Gaza fence. We expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life,” Mogherini says in a statement.

“Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force. Hamas and those leading the demonstrations in Gaza must ensure that they remain strictly non-violent and must not exploit them for other means.”

Former Italian foreign minister Mogherini urges both sides to return to negotiations, saying that the European Union remained committed to its role in trying to foster peace in the region.

She warns that “any further escalation of an already extremely tense and complex situation would cause again further unspeakable sufferings to both peoples, and will make the perspective of peace and security even more remote.”

AFP, with Times of Israel staff

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