The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece has taken a stance against the deaths of the Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on Monday, expressing its “abhorrence and deep concern” in an official media release.

The statement released on Tuesday called on both sides to show restraint, in a bid to avoid escalating violence.

“We note with abhorrence and deep concern the tragic loss of dozens of lives, including those of children, and the wounding of hundreds of protesters resulting from Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip,” read the media release.

“It is imperative that restraint be shown in order to avoid further escalation and more victims. Israel needs to respect the right to peaceful demonstration and avoid the use of disproportionate force. On their part, Hamas and all those organising the protests in the Gaza Strip need to ensure the peaceful nature of these protests.”

Thousands of protesters started gathering at the Gaza border on Monday ahead of the opening of the new US embassy in the Arnona neighbourhood in Jerusalem, which was being relocated from Tel Aviv.

Over 50 people were killed, eight of which were children under the age of 16, with thousands injured, resulting in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 war.