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Arab Envoys Ask UN Chief to Launch Probe of Gaza Killings

Palestinian masked protesters carrying tires walk toward the border fence during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, April 5, 2018.

Arab ambassadors are urging the U.N. secretary-general to launch an independent investigation into the killing of 18 Palestinians during a protest march last week against a stifling decade-old Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Tunisian Ambassador Mohammed Khaled Khiari heads the Arab group at the United Nations and he says its members welcome Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for an independent and transparent investigation.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters after a meeting Thursday with Guterres that the U.N. leader's response was “positive.” Mansour says Guterres expressed serious concern at the civilian deaths.

Mansour says both the Arab group and Guterres prefer an independent investigation, but the Palestinian envoys adds that there are also other models of fact-finding missions.