By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Nigeria on Thursday condemned the killing of 58 Palestinians at the Gaza border fence during the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem last Monday.
A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tope Elias-Fatile, said Nigeria “strongly condemns the massacre of 58 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.”
Describing Israel’s use of force as “excessive,” Nigeria said Israel must stop the use of excessive force against civilians and respect the rights of Palestinians.
The statement reads:”The Federal Government of Nigeria strongly condemns the massacre of 58 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators at the Gaza border fence on Monday.
“The Israeli Government must stop such use of excessive force against unarmed civilians, including children, and respect the basic human rights of Palestinians as well as international law.”
Earlier reports said that the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry claimed 58 Palestinians were killed and nearly 1,000 were injured in violent clashes with Israeli forces along the Gaza Strip.
Israeli security forces said they were responding to deliberate attempts, spurred by Hamas, to overwhelm and breach the boundary fence to launch terror attacks on Israel.
In addition to protesting the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinians were also marking the 70th anniversary of what they called the Nakba, or â€œcatastrophe,â€ of Israelâ€™s creation in 1948.
The Israeli army said three of the Palestinians killed on Monday were trying to plant explosives at the border fence.
In two separate incidents, IDF troops opened fire on gunmen who were trying to shoot them, Hadashot TV news said.
There were also several Israeli airstrikes on Hamas positions in Gaza.
According to the army, tens of thousands took part in the protests at several points along the border