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    Palestinian protestors stand facing the Israeli settlement of Qadumim (Kedumim) during clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on December 30, 2016

    Russian Foreign Minister Urges Direct Talks to Ease Palestine-Israel Tensions

    © AFP 2017/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH
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    The Palestine-Israel conflict should be resolved through "direct Palestine-Israel dialogue on the basis of UN resolutions," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday, adding that Russia was ready to facilitate the peace process.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  The Russian foreign minister added that Moscow was a strong proponent of Palestinian people's union, stressing that Moscow was supportive of Cairo's active role in the process of Hamas and Fatah rapprochement.

    Lavrov also stated that Russia was determined to make its contribution to restoring the unity of Palestinians.

    The intra-Palestinian conflict involves two major opposing parties, Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has been governing the Gaza Strip since 2007, while Fatah maintained control of the West Bank. Over the years, the two sides have made several attempts for reconciliation, though all of them failed. On September 17, Hamas announced its decision to dissolve the administrative committee, which had been running the Gaza Strip, and to start talks with its rival Fatah movement to hold general elections in Palestine. The move was welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who leads Fatah.

    Tensions between Israel and Palestine have continued to escalate through the years. The Palestinians are seeking to create their own state on the territories of the Gaza Strip and of the West Bank, partially controlled by Israel. However, Israel refuses to recognize Palestine's independence. Direct talks between the two countries collapsed in 2014 when the latest armed conflict between Israel and Hamas took place.

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    Sergei Lavrov, Palestine, Israel, Russia
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