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Arab league to hold emergency Palestine meeting

Saudi Arabia will chair the meeting on Tuesday [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 April, 2018

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Saudi Arabia will chair a meeting an emergency meeting of Arab states on Tuesday following the killing of Palestinian protesters by Israel.

Deadly attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinian protesters in Gaza have prompted the Arab League to hold an emergency session on Tuesday, an official for the regional body said on Monday.

Saeed Abu Ali, assistant secretary-general for Palestine and the occupied Arab territories of the League States, was cited by Anadolu Agency as saying that the meeting will be held at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

Saudi Arabia will chair the session.

On Friday, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters who approached the heavily fortified fence cutting off the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Sixteen Palestinians were killed in the attack, with more than 1,400 being wounded - 758 of them by live fire, with the remainder hurt by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation.

Friday's mass marches launched a six-week-long protest campaign to demand the right to return of Palestinian refugees and to condemn a stifling decade-old blockade of the territory.

The Israeli military has defended actions of its soldiers and said they opened fire only when necessary against those throwing stones and firebombs or rolling tyres at soldiers.

Human rights groups have accused the army of using excessive force, and both the UN secretary-general and the European Union's foreign policy chief have urged an investigation.

Israel has rejected calls for an independent probe.

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