United States has blocked a draft UN Security Council statement urging restraint and calling for an investigation of clashes on the Gaza-Israel border that left 16 dead.

Clashes erupted as tens of thousands of Gazans protested near the border, with Israeli forces using tear gas and live fire to force back smaller numbers of demonstrators who approached within a few hundred yards of the heavily fortified border fence.

In addition to the 16 Palestinians martyred, more than 1,400 were wounded, 758 of them by live fire, with the remainder hurt by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation.

Kuwait, which represents Arab countries on the council, presented the proposed statement, which called for an “independent and transparent investigation” of the violence.The draft council statement also expressed “grave concern at the situation at the border.”

And it reaffirmed “the right to peaceful protest” and expressed the council’s “sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.”The draft statement was circulated to the council, but United States raised objections and said it did not support its adoption.

The proposed statement also called “for respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians.Council members “called upon all sides to exercise restraint and prevent a further escalation.The proposed statement stressed the need to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.