Malta said today that it 'deplores and condemns in the strongest possible terms' the shooting of Maltese national Bianca Zammit by the Israeli Defence Forces yesterday, saying it was a 'totally unwarranted attack'.

A protest note was sent this morning to the Israeli government via the Maltese Embassy in Israel.

A foreign ministry spokesman said Malta expects 'a thorough investigation' to be carried out into the incident, which could have led to far more serious consequences.

Foreign Minister Tonio Borg is expected to raise the incident tomorrow during an EU foreign ministers' meeting.

Ms Zammit, 28, a pro-Palestinian activist, is being treated at the Al-Aqsa hospital after she was shot in the leg during a protest near the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza. A bullet went through a muscle in one of her legs but missed the bone.

Her family have thanked all those people who expressed support.

Mr Joe Zammit, Bianca's father, urged all to pray for her.

"She is doing everything out of her love for those most in need and everything for the glory of God. She was very happy last Easter being present for Easter Mass in a Gaza Catholic church," Mr Zammit said in a comment on

Aldo Zammit Borda, Bianca's brother, said he wanted to acknowledge the immediate and critical assistance provided in this case by the Government of Malta and, in particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"I would also like to acknowledge the moving expressions of support to both Bianca and her family. Bianca has forgiven her assailants. She is well aware that both sides to this conflict have legitimate fears and concerns. As a peaceful activist, she has sought to highlight these concerns using a video-camera as her only 'weapon'. She is but one of a number of committed individuals who are still hopeful that positive change is possible and are willing to work towards it.

"While it is true that Middle Eastern problem may not be directly related to Maltese problems, the principles of forgiveness, peace, justice, and reconciliation which underlie them, are universal. It is these principles that drove Bianca to peaceful action in the first place."

Marcella Muscat, Bianca's sister, said Bianca was always very dedicated towards working for human and animal rights both in Malta and abroad.

"She worked as volunteer in Germany and the UK before going to Gaza last year. Here in Malta she was involved with the Red Cross, Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl, Graffiti and with refugees to name a few; and worked at Appogg and National Commission for Equality. She graduated from the University of Malta with B.Psy and Bradford University with masters in Peace and Conflict Resolution."

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat this morning also expressed his ‘total' solidarity with Ms Zammit and called on the government to protest with the Israeli authorities over their actions during a peaceful protest.

Moviment Graffitti expressed its solidarity and wished a speedy recovery to its former member Bianca Zammit.

It also expressed solidarity with the other Palestinians shot during the protest, as well as with all those who have been injured or killed while putting up peaceful resistance to the Israeli ‘illegal occupation' of the Palestinian territory.

Graffitti urged the government to take due diplomatic action in this regard and to take all necessary action to ensure the dignity, rights and well-being of all those people, who like Bianca are during much needed humanitarian work in foreign countries.

Footage of yesterday's incident can be found at!

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