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Scale of losses among civilians in Gaza warrants urgent international response — FM

July 21, 2014, 19:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants

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© AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

MOSCOW, July 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The scale of losses and suffering among civilians in Gaza demands urgent international steps, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“A new spiral of violence has clearly shown the need for a ceasefire. It is necessary to stop the suffering of peaceful Palestinians and Israelis and further destruction of civilian infrastructure. The scale of casualties and suffering among the people demands an urgent and concerted international response,” the ministry said.

On July 20 alone, 122 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed, the ministry said. Since the beginning of intensive fighting, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed and about 3,500 wounded. The socioeconomic infrastructure in Gaza has been seriously damaged. Over 2,500 facilities, including dwelling houses in densely populated districts, have come under Israeli fire.

Meanwhile, Palestinian extremists are continuing to retaliate. They have fired more than 1,600 missiles at Israel whose air defence systems have intercepted 340 of them. Civilian casualties among Israelis have been reported.

“Moscow reiterates support for Egypt’s efforts towards truce between Gaza and Israel. We continue to work actively with the parties to the conflict and the Middle East Quartet in order to deescalate tensions, gradually normalise the situation and consequently help to create conditions for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli talks,” the ministry said.

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