RNA - In a tweet, Mladenov stated that he was appalled by Israel’s murder of two children last Friday, Palinfo reported.
He called on Israel to immediately end deadly shooting of Palestinian children, saying, “Children should not be used as targets; they must be protected."
The UN official spoke out against Israel’s arbitrary use of lethal force and expressed his heartfelt sympathy with the children’s families.
Hamza Shtewi, 17, and Hasan Shalabi, 14, who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Friday during the Gaza March of Return border protests, were laid to rest on Saturday in the blockaded Gaza Strip. Several others also suffered various kinds of injuries from bullets fired by soldiers stationed on the Gaza border.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also expressed sorrow over the recent killing of two Palestinian teenage boys by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip, calling for an end to violence against children.
In a statement released on Saturday, UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said that the agency was “deeply saddened” by the killings.
“This is another stark reminder of the significant violence that children in the state of Palestine continue to endure. As we mark 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is essential that the fundamental rights of children be respected,” he added.
Cappelaere further called for an end to violence against children in the occupied territories.
“It is time that violence against children ends [sic],” he stated, noting, “Children are children. They must be protected at all times. Children should never be a target. Nor should they be exposed to any form of violence, by any party.”
The March of Return demonstrations are held every week to demand the right to return of the Palestinians driven out of their homeland by Israeli aggression. They also demand a halt to Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities. Israeli forces use live ammunition against protesters in Gaza.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.