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Probability of Middle East conflict expanding 'very high' — Russian ambassador to Israel

Anatoly Viktorov also pointed to the importance of not allowing the conflict to grow
Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov Sergey Fadeichev/TASS
Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov
© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 15. /TASS/. The probability of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict spreading to other countries in the Middle East region is very high, Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov said.

"I can say that the level of confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians remains extremely high and the degree of the conflict's expansion into the region is, unfortunately, very high," the diplomat said during a Rossiya-24 TV broadcast when asked about the threat of the conflict's expansion in the region.

The ambassador also pointed to the importance of not allowing the conflict to grow. "It is necessary to act against it, and immediately," Viktorov added.

The Russian ambassador said that the US policy is one of the main reasons for such escalation in the region. "The current upsurge or escalation of the confrontation is largely the result of the failed policy of the Americans in the Middle East. They hijacked many processes, did not take into account the interests of states and regions, pushed for some agreements that looked attractive," Viktorov said.

In his opinion, the US actions are not aimed at resolving the conflict, but at escalating the situation in order to get an opportunity to dictate its terms. "Now, in my opinion, instead of recognizing their failures and joining, so to speak, collective actions in the region, they are once again continuing the line of unilateral actions and, it seems to me, pushing Israel to take some tough measures that should not have been taken in the current conditions," the diplomat emphasized.

Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when Hamas militants staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, killing residents of Israeli border settlements and taking over 200 hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel has announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also underway in the West Bank.