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Palestine counts on Russia, China in settling current conflict — ambassador

He stressed that Palestinians will never agree to leave their land "whatever the price may be"

DUBAI, October 19. /TASS/. Palestine counts on Russia and China in the settlement of the current conflict in the Middle East, Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal told the Sky News Arabiya television channel.

"We are counting on the role of Russia and China in the current conflict," he said. "The world must compel Israel to implement the two-state project to evade a catastrophe."

He stressed that Palestinians will never agree to leave their land "whatever the price may be."

Tensions flared up in the Middle East after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli territory. Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank. More than 3,400 Palestinians have been killed and more than 12,000 others injured. In Israel, at least 1,500 people have lost their lives and almost 4,500 have been wounded.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN Secretary General, said earlier that Israel had informed the UN that 1.1 million Palestinians should evacuate to the south of the Gaza Strip within 24 hours. According to the UN spokesperson, the call for the evacuation also applies to all UN staff, along with those who are taking shelter at UN facilities, including schools, medical centers and clinics. The Israel Defense Forces later published the call for Gaza Strip residents to evacuate to the south on Telegram. Hamas, however, called on people to ignore Israel’s recommendation. It also asked the UN to take measures to prevent people from being forced from their homes.