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EU expresses concern over violence used by Hamas against protesters

March 22, 2019 7:48 A.M. (Updated: March 22, 2019 3:19 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern, on Thursday, about the arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against Palestinian protesters, including journalists, staff from the Independent Commission of Human Rights, and human rights defenders, in the besieged Gaza Strip over the past few days.

The EU Missions said in a statement, ''The right to peaceful protest and to freedom of expression in Gaza must be respected. Violent suppression of the demonstrations is unacceptable and must stop. The de-facto authorities in Gaza must ensure that peaceful demonstrations can continue and avoid any further actions that would contribute to the escalation of the situation.''

In line with Council Conclusions, the EU Missions called for all parties to take swift steps to produce a fundamental change to the political, security, and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, including the end of the closure and a full opening of the crossing points, while addressing Israel's legitimate security concerns.
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