Black Sea group calls for restraint after Gaza killings


By Nilay Kar Onum

ISTANBUL (AA) – A Black Sea region group condemned Wednesday the recent Gaza “massacre”, calling for restraint in the region after more than 60 people were martyred during protests along the Gaza border.

“We strongly condemn the massacre carried out by Israel as a result of using disproportionate use of force towards innocent Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations and we call for restraint in the region,” a joint statement of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) said.

The statement was released during the summit of parliament speakers held in Istanbul on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the group.

“We, as the members of Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, emphasize our commitment to the establishment of a sustainable, lasting and just peace in the Middle East,” it said.

The statement noted that peace was only possible by “the realization of the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine based on 1967 borders and compliant with legitimate international decisions".

“Furthermore, we think that unilateral steps taken in the Palestinian Territories against international law and the established parameters will deeply damage the grounds for peace in the Middle East,” it added.

At least 62 Palestinians were martyred and thousands more injured by Israeli forces along the Gaza border Monday.

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on Gaza Strip’s eastern border Monday to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.


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