Russia concerned over outbreak of violence in West Bank, Gaza

© RIA Novosti . Nazar AljanThe deaths followed the killing of a rabbi in the West Bank on December 24.
The deaths followed the killing of a rabbi in the West Bank on December 24. - Sputnik International
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Russia on Tuesday expressed concern over a surge in violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Russia on Tuesday expressed concern over a surge in violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Three suspected militants were killed in an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Nablus on December 26. On the same day, three Palestinian civilians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The deaths followed the killing of a rabbi in the West Bank on December 24.

"The overall picture is both complex and alarming," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said, adding that the cause of the latest violence was the "dead-end" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

He also said that Moscow believed the "sole possibility" of averting further violence was the restart of peace talks.

His comments came after Moscow had urged Israel to scrap plans for further settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The issue of settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, has been the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.

Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze construction and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001 from the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian National Authority has refused to return to the negotiating table until construction is completely halted. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti)

 

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