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Putin Says Russia 'Ready' to Mediate Israel-Hamas War

Pavel Bednyakov, RIA Novosti /

Moscow stands ready to work with “constructive” partners in helping reach a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

“What matters now is to stop the bloodshed,” the Russian leader said at a summit in Kyrgyzstan.

“Russia is ready to coordinate with all constructive partners,” Putin added, while also echoing remarks he made earlier this week that there was “no alternative” to a two-state solution to the decades-long crisis.

Putin's offer to mediate the crisis comes days after Iraq’s prime minister directly appealed for his assistance in ending Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, a densely populated coastal enclave that has come under heavy bombardment from Israel in retaliation to Hamas' attacks over the weekend. 

Since Hamas fighters launched a bloody incursion against Israel on Saturday, Putin has cast the conflict as a “failure” of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

At the time, he expressed uncertainty about the fighting ending “any time soon.”

Still, the Kremlin has said that it was in contact with both Israel and Palestine as it sought to help bring an end to the hostilities, which have so far claimed more than 2,800 lives on both sides. 

Israel on Friday ordered hundreds of thousands to evacuate Gaza City as it prepares for a possible ground assault, which international aid groups warn will dramatically increase the number of civilian deaths in the war. 

Putin said that a ground assault against Gaza would lead to “grave consequences” and “unacceptable civilian losses.”

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