THE HAGUE, November 29. /TASS/. Russia is concerned over media reports saying that Israel may use chemical weapons in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Permanent Envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin said.
Addressing the 28th Session of the Conference of the States Parties, Shulgin said Russia was "worried over media reports" and, in this light, he called on Israel to ratify the CWC as soon as possible.
Israel is one of four countries which are not parties to the CWC, alongside Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan.
Earlier, OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias expressed his concern over the potential use of chemical weapons in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian radical movement Hamas. He said his organization had been maintaining communication with both parties to the conflict as it was closely watching the developments in the Gaza Strip and any reports about the potential use of chemical weapons.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 200 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ aggressive actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total siege of Gaza and started carrying out strikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.