CAIRO (Rahnuma): Egypt’s Al-Azhar top Islamic institution denounced in a statement on Saturday what it described as the recent “brutal suppression” exercised by Israeli troops against peaceful protestors in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
The statement came in response to the Israeli clashes with Palestinian protestors on Friday, which left at least seven Palestinians dead, including two children under the age of 15, and more than 500 wounded.
Cairo-based Al-Azhar, the most prestigious Islamic learning institution in the Sunni Muslim world, said that the occurence of “this massacre” hours after the conclusion of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York shows Israel’s disregard of the international community and its institutions.
“It took place amid the international community’s chronic inability to provide protection for the Palestinian people and hold the occupation authorities accountable for their continuous crimes against the children of this unarmed people,” Al-Azhar added.
On Friday, thousands of Palestinians joined the 27th Friday of the rallies called “the Great March of Return” that began on March 30 at five spots in eastern Gaza along the border with Israel.
The ongoing protests demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees, whose number rose from some 750,000 in 1950 to more than 5.3 million at the moment.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Gaza Health Ministry, said on Friday that the Israeli soldiers shot dead 193 Palestinians and wounded more than 20,000 others in the Gaza Strip since the protests erupted in late March.