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Russia Calls for End to Israel-Palestinian Strikes

Russia on Monday urged an end to Palestinian rocket attacks and what it called the disproportionate Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, saying both were unacceptable.

"Moscow considers it necessary to stop the military confrontation without delay," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a similar comment in a telephone conversation with his Palestinian counterpart, the ministry said.

Russia is a member of the so-called Quartet of Middle East peace mediators, along with the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.

President Vladimir Putin has tried to balance ties with Arabs, including the Palestinians, that date to the Soviet era with improved relations with Israel during his 13 years in power.

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