“It is unacceptable to shoot at protesters with live rounds,” said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide after at least 16 Palestinians were killed on the Gaza Strip.
Søreide (H) says in a comment to Dagsavisen on Saturday that she is deeply concerned about the situation at the border. According to Palestinian authorities, more than 1,400 people were wounded during protests on Friday when Israeli soldiers shot at protesters on the other side of the border gate.
“It is unacceptable to shoot live rounds against those who demonstrate against occupation and to endanger civilians in conflict situations,” said the Foreign Minister.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 758 of the victims were injured by gunfire, while the others were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. The Shifa hospital in Gaza city reports that 70 minors are among the 284 wounded who were brought in on Friday, most of them had gunfire injuries.
The Israeli army spokesman Ronen Manelis rejects that soldiers were using excessive power, accusing the Palestinians of exaggerating the number of wounded and claiming there were no more than “a few” Palestinians shot. Many of the Palestinian protesters cast stones and fire bombs towards the soldiers who guarded the border gate.
Søreide believes the development illustrates how important it is for a lasting peace solution between Palestine and Israel.
“I want to encourage everyone to help calm the situation down to avoid further escalation,” says Søreide.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today