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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Moscow has condemned the terrorist attack in Ashod, a city in Israel. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that acts of terrorism in Israel, just as the use of force on the Palestinian lands, could only worsen the critical situation in Palestinian-Israeli relations.

    On Sunday, a terrorist attack in Ashdod killed 11 and wounded 18 people. In response to the attack, a few hours later the Israeli army fired missiles on some facilities in the Gaza strip. Following the Ashdod terrorist attack, a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers, which was in preparation for a long time, was postponed and all contacts between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority were severed.

    Russia believes that the use of force and unilateral actions are not a solution to the situation. Instead Russia supports the consolidation of the joint effort against terrorism and the resumption of political dialogue between the conflicting parties. According to Moscow, the Road Map peace plan, adopted by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority and approved the United Nations Security Council, is a strong foundation for this.

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