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Russia Calls for ‘Immediate Ceasefire’ in Gaza

A rocket is launched from the coastal Gaza strip towards Israel. EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Saturday called for Israeli and Palestinian forces to stop armed hostilities after attacks launched by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel.

"We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to immediately ceasefire, renounce violence, show the necessary restraint," Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Zakharova called the parties to set up "a negotiation process aimed at establishing a comprehensive, lasting and long-awaited peace" with the help of the international community.

The long-lasting conflict between Israel and Palestine "cannot be solved by force, but only by diplomatic means," Zakharova said.

She said Moscow was standing by its position in favor of negotiations "for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security with Israel."

Earlier Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov urged restraint from all parties.

"We are now in contact with everyone. With the Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs," Bogdanov told Russian private news agency Interfax.

"This is an unexpected aggravation. If we had expected it, we would not have allowed it," he said.

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