Israel was quick to state that it would not participate in any inquiry into the recent violence in Gaza. Both the UN-secretary Antonio Guterres and the EU diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini, have called for an investigation into the events that lead to the death of 17 Palestinians and an estimated 1000 injuries. For his part, Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the Turkish prime minister's call for an inquiry by likening it to an April Fools. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli prime minister tweeted on Sunday:"The most moral army in the world will not receive moral exhortations from those who for years have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations.

Apparently, this is how Ankara marks April first."

Peaceful protests turn violent

Gazans had gathered at the border to stage a peaceful sit-in and mark the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian mass exodus that followed the creation of Israel in 1948. At that time, an estimated 700'000 Palestinians were either expelled from their homes or fled. Advertised as a peaceful protest, this "Great March of Return" soon turned violent when Israeli snipers gathered alongside and opened fire. Life ammunition, as well as tear gas can-dropping drones, were used against the thousands of Palestinians, among them, women and children.

Friday's clashes are the most violent episode in Gaza since 2014. As funerals for those killed by the Israeli army took place on Saturday, large crowds gathered expressing grief, anger, and desperation.

Israel blames Hamas

Dismissing any suggestion that the Israeli defence forces killed defenceless, peaceful protesters, Israel has laid the burden of responsibility on Hamas, saying that it was using civilians to stage violent riots. On Twitter, the IDF outlined its view of the events.

After videos showing the IDF's violent actions emerged online, the Israeli military accused Hamas of deliberately releasing "edited or completely fabricated" videos.

Israel will not partake in an inquiry

Despite condemnation from human rights organisations and high-profile calls for an independent inquiry into the events, Benjamin Netanyahu has praised the actions of the IDF, saying it had done a good job "guarding the country's borders." These sentiments were echoed on Israeli Army Radio by the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who said:"I think that all of our troops deserve a commendation, and there won't be any inquiry."

Human Rights Watch says killings were "unlawful and calculated"

In its new report on the events, Human Rights Watch said that the killings were "unlawful and calculated." HRW also said that Israel failed to produce evidence that the Isreali soldiers were under threat.

The shooting dead of 17 Palestinians was the "foreseeable consequence of granting soldiers leeway to use lethal force outside of life-threatening situations in violation of international norms", the report also stated.

According to Aljazeera, the Israeli army announced deploying over 100 snipers with permission to fire.

The death toll is set to rise because of the high casualty numbers and lack of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip.