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Palestinian ambassador to Russia points to difference between Palestine, Hamas

Abdel Hafiz Nofal emphasized he was against the killing of civilians personally and as an ambassador

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal said Palestine and Hamas differ on a lot of issues.

"There is a big difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. They are two different things altogether," he said in an interview with the RBC news organization.

The ambassador said that the Authority disagrees with Hamas on a multitude of issues.

"The Palestinian Authority is part of the international community," he said. "We have an embassy in Russia, we have embassies all over the world, we are recognized by more than 140 countries, so there is a big difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority."

"Personally, and as ambassador, I am against the killing of civilians - Israelis, Europeans, Palestinians - and we talk about it regularly," Nofal went on to say.

The diplomat said what is happening now between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip "has a complicated history." "Israel is keeping Gaza under siege. They control everything, even the movement of people, food supplies, electricity, water," he said.

The situation in the Middle East has sharply escalated following an incursion of Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Hamas regards the attack as a response to Israeli actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Israel has declared a complete siege of the Gaza Strip and has started delivering strikes on that area and parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank. Almost 1,500 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6,800 wounded. Also, up to 1,500 Israelis have been killed and almost 4,000 wounded.