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7 Oct, 2023 14:26

Moscow and Kiev differ on Israel-Palestine escalation

Russia has urged both sides to stick to diplomacy, while Ukraine has proclaimed its support for Israel
Moscow and Kiev differ on Israel-Palestine escalation

Russia and Ukraine, which have been locked in a major conflict for more than a year and a half, have reacted to the escalation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov urged both sides of the conflict to cease hostilities immediately. Russia’s stance on the latest Israel-Palestine escalation was further outlined by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who released a special statement on the matter.

“We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides for an immediate ceasefire, renunciation of violence, exercising necessary restraint, and the launch, with the assistance of the international community, of a negotiation process aimed at establishing a comprehensive, lasting, and much-awaited peace in the Middle East,” Zakharova said.

The escalation in the region is yet another manifestation of the “closed cycle of violence,” the spokeswoman noted, adding that Russia believes the 75-year-long conflict cannot be solved through military means. The flare-up is a “result of a chronic failure to comply with relevant UN and Security Council resolutions,” as well as a derailment of the peace process by the collective West, Zakharova explained.

Meanwhile, Kiev proclaimed its full support for Israel, denouncing Hamas as “terrorists.”

“Ukraine strongly condemns the ongoing terrorist attacks against Israel, including rocket attacks against the civilian population in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We express our support for Israel in its right to defend itself and its people,” the Ukrainian foreign minister wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

This stance was amplified by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who took to Telegram to urge the “whole world” to support Israel in its fight against Palestinians.

“Horrible reports from Israel. My condolences to everyone whose family and friends died in the terrorist attack … Israel’s right to defense is beyond any doubt,” Zelensky stated.

Hamas initiated a major assault on Israel early on Saturday, launching dozens of rockets from Gaza, as well as attacking border checkpoints and infiltrating multiple locations across southern Israel. Footage circulating online suggests multiple Israeli military installations were overrun by Hamas militants, with a significant number of Israelis, both servicemen and civilians, killed or captured.

Israel responded with massive airstrikes on Gaza, which have already killed more than 150 people and injured nearly 1,000, according to the local health authority. Israel has also announced the mobilization of military reservists, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the country was now “at war.”