The following statement was issued today by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
In light of the tragic events of the “Great Return March” last Friday, I reiterate my call on all concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further violence or place civilians in harm's way, especially children.
I call upon all parties on the ground to avoid confrontation and exercise maximum restraint. I particularly urge Israel to exercise extreme caution with the use of force in order to avoid casualties. Civilians must be able to exercise their right to demonstrate peacefully.
I again stress the urgency to accelerate efforts to return to meaningful negotiations that will eventually allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in two democratic States side by side in peace and within secure and recognized borders. I reaffirm the United Nations’ readiness to support these efforts.