Tunisia has condemned Israel’s deadly attacks on defenseless Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, the foreign ministry said Sunday.
“Tunisia strongly condemns Israel’s brutal attacks on peaceful Palestinian people who organized demonstration in the Gaza Strip on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Land Day as part of the Great Return March events.”
It went on to express solidarity with the Palestinians and urged the international community to put an end to flagrant Israeli violations and policies of repression against the Palestinian people.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators on Friday converged on the Gaza Strip’s roughly 45-kilometer-long (28-mile) eastern border with Israel to demand their right to return to their ancestral homes in historical Palestine.
In pictures: Protests in Gaza
Ahead of the mass demonstrations, Israel deployed thousands of troops along the border.
Dubbed the Great March of Return, the protests also intended to pressure Israel to lift its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza.
The attacks by Israeli forces left 17 Palestinians martyred and nearly 1,500 injured.
The rallies Friday were endorsed by virtually all Palestinian political factions, which repeatedly stressed the event’s peaceful nature.
Land Day is an annual Palestinian commemoration of six Arab Israeli citizens killed by Israeli forces in 1976, during demonstrations against government land confiscations in northern Israel.
Tunisia condemnation joins a growing list of nations who have spoken out against the Israeli attacks, including the UK, Germany and Italy.