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MOSCOW, July 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday recommended Russians not to visit areas of armed clashes adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry repeats its earlier voiced recommendation for Russian nationals who are in Israel and on Palestinian territories not to visit sites of armed clashes and places that may come under attacks, especially ones adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said.
“We urge all Russians to show maximum caution and circumspection,” it said.
The situation around Gaza, a Palestinian enclave, remains very tense. The number of victims is growing.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that according to reports, for the period since the start by Israel on July 8 of its military operation Protective Edge, 225 Palestinians, including 43 children, have been killed and over 1,500 wounded.
“A tragic incident connected with the shelling by Israeli vessels of the Gaza coast that killed four Palestinian teenagers drew a huge response,” the ministry said.
As a result of rocket attacks from Gaza (overall, some 1,200 rockets were fired on Israel) one Israeli died and tens of people asked for medical assistance.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the most urgent thing today is to stop an armed confrontation, “put an end to the suffering of the civilian population of Israel and Gaza, protect it from terrorist attacks and disproportionate use of force.”
“In this context, we welcome and support Egypt’s mediating efforts to achieve a reciprocal ceasefire,” the ministry said. “No doubt that such a truce should not only be long-term but also should ensure tranquility and stability for Israelis, worthy conditions for the life of the population and the Gaza Strip development.”
Israeli-Palestinian relations grew sour after June 12, 2014, when three Jewish teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. Later the teenagers were found killed. Israel accused militants of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which controls the Gaza Strip, of committing the crime.
On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. The IDF made strikes on 50 targets in the Gaza Strip, most of which were launching platforms for rockets. Five Palestinians were killed and some 20 were wounded.