MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – The talks between Israeli and Palestinian forces, mediated by Egypt, must lead to a long-term truce between both sides, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"The talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, mediated by Egypt, which have been extended and are now continuing, should, in our opinion, lead to an agreement on a long-term sustainable ceasefire," Lavrov said at the meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization committee member Saib Oreikat.
"This goal must be a good reason to launch an all-encompassing resolution of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. We will actively contribute to that, we have certain ideas on the matter," the foreign minister added.
Israel and Palestinians agreed Monday to extend a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip by another 24 hours to allow further negotiations on a long-term solution to the conflict.
Palestinians have been urging Israel to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Since Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, it has been exercising control over the territory’s borders, including goods and human flows.
On July 8, Israel launched an offensive against the Hamas movement in response to the military group’s rocket attacks. On July 17, Israel switched to a ground offensive to destroy the network of Hamas tunnels along Gaza’s Israeli border.
About 1,900 people have lost their lives in Gaza since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, mainly civilians. During this time Israel has lost 64 soldiers, with three more civilians killed in Israel.