MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have exchanged opinions about the aggravation of the situation in East Jerusalem, calling on the sides to de-escalate the existing tensions and to launch the process of peaceful regulation, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday on the outcomes of the phone call between both leaders.
"They [Putin and Erdogan] held a substantive exchange of opinions in relation to the aggravation of the situation in East Jerusalem. They expressed serious concern over the ongoing clashes and the rising number of victims and injured persons. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the sides to de-escalate tensions and called for peaceful regulation of arising disputes," the message says.
The Kremlin informed that during the talks between both leaders, Russia and Turkey expressed their principled stance in support of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the generally recognized international and legal norms. They also highlighted the special role of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, the EU, the UN and the US) in aiding the negotiation process.
The Israeli army and the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Sector have been exchanging missile strikes since Monday. So far, over a thousand missiles have been launched in the direction of Israel from the Gaza Strip. The majority of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, however, several missiles reached the streets of Israeli cities. Several Israeli citizens have died, dozens were injured. For its part, Palestine informed of at least 43 victims of Israeli strikes, including 13 children, and 296 injured people as a result of Israel’s attacks.
An exchange of missile strikes between Israel and Palestinian radicals from the Gaza Strip followed an outburst of unrest near the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City in early May. Clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli police were triggered by an Israeli court ruling to seize dwelling houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from Arab families who have been living there for more than 50 years in favor of Jewish resettlers who had reportedly owned these buildings before 1948.