Violence on Israel-Gaza border: Singapore calls for restraint

Palestinians collect tires to be burnt during a protest marking the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2018.
Palestinians collect tires to be burnt during a protest marking the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore is deeply concerned about the civilian casualties arising from the latest escalation of violence along the Israel-Gaza border, the republic's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday (May 15), as the death toll since Monday exceeded 60.

"We urge all sides to exercise restraint and do their utmost to protect civilians while taking urgent steps to de-escalate the situation. All parties have the responsibility to stop the violence and restore calm," an MFA spokesman said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been protesting since March 30 for what they call the right of return to their lands in what is currently Israel. The protest escalated on Monday, when the United States formally opened its embassy in Jerusalem, as Israeli troops fired on the protestors, killing at least 61 and wounding more than 2,700.

MFA advised Singaporeans to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip and Israel's borders with the Gaza Strip, as well as non-essential travel to the West Bank, including Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah.