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Russia alarmed by deteriorating situation around Gaza Strip

Moscow voices serious concern over the escalation on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Russia is highly concerned by the deteriorating situation around the Gaza Strip, as it is fraught with an armed confrontation, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, told a news briefing on Thursday.

"Moscow voices serious concern over the dangerous escalation on the background of lingering tensions," she said. "The risks of a new sweeping armed confrontation on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip are growing significantly. They are fraught with new civilian casualties on both sides and a steep slide of the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian enclave."

"We urge the Palestinians and the Israelis to display restraint and to take measures towards ruling out the relapses of violence with unpredictable aftermaths," Zakharova said.

"To break up the vicious circle of the armed confrontation, it is important to streamline meaningful dialogue on settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at an earliest possible date on the basis of UN Security Council’s resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative," she said. "Any unilateral decisions taken in bypass of international regulations for Middle East peace settlement do not facilitate movement to this objective."

The situation around Gaza deteriorated sharply on Wednesday night when the radical Palestinian groups opened intensive shelling of the Israeli territory in response to the killing of two Palestinian fighters, who did not pose any risk to the Israelis.

The latest data from the Israel Defense Forces suggests the Palestinians launched more than 180 missiles and projectiles and the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 30 of them.

A number of missiles exploded inside populated localities, wounding seven Israelis as a minimum.