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UN calls for restraint after Nakba day deaths

May 16, 2011 6:49 P.M. (Updated: May 16, 2011 6:49 P.M.)
NEW YORK (Ma'an) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has "closely followed" Israel's reaction to peaceful protests in across the region as Palestinians marked Nakba Day, a statement from the body's Mideast envoy said Monday.

Ban "is deeply concerned that a significant number of people have been killed or injured," spokesman for the envoy Richard Miron said in a statement.

The UN chief called on "all concerned to show restraint and refrain from provocations so as to prevent escalation of tensions and ensure civilians are not killed or injured," the statement said.

Fourteen protesters were killed over the weekend and hundreds were injured at rallies calling for the recognition of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and the reunification of the divided Syrian Golan Heights.

"The Secretary-General calls for calm throughout the region and utmost responsibility from all concerned," the statement said, adding that Ban was "acutely conscious of the unsustainable status quo in the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is only thrown into sharper relief by the profound political changes now under way in the region."
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