18:56 GMT17 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Special representatives of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators — Russia, the United States, the EU and UN — discussed holding a meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    According to the ministry, the phone conversations between the Russian foreign minister's special envoy for Middle East settlement, Vladimir Safronkov, the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East, Thor Vennesland, and EU Special Representative Sven Koopmans took place on Wednesday. The parties emphasized the urgency of taking steps both bilaterally and through the Middle East Quartet to end hostilities, stabilize the situation and form conditions for launching direct Palestinian-Israeli dialogue on fundamental issues.

    "The Russian side accentuated the importance of convening a meeting of the Quartet at the ministerial level in the near future, which will be important for stopping the spiral of confrontation," the ministry said in a statement.

    Violent clashes broke out from May 7-10 between Palestinians and Israeli police, leading to the worst conflict in recent years. Riots began in two areas of East Jerusalem at once — near the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah quarter, where several Arab families are being evicted by the Israeli court decision.

    Palestinian militants have launched over 1,600 rockets from Gaza toward Israel. Six Israeli civilians and one soldier have died since the beginning of the conflict. Israel has fired retaliatory strikes against Gaza, attacking about 600 military targets of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. According to the enclave's health ministry, the number of Palestinians killed in three days increased to 103, and 580 were reportedly injured.

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    USA, US, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Israel, Middle East Quartet, Middle East, EU, UN, Russia, Russia
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