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Russia Calls for 'Collective Action' to End Hamas-Israel War

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

Russia on Monday called for "collective action" to end fighting between Israel and Hamas, almost a month into the war that has left thousands dead.

Moscow maintains ties with both the Hamas militant group and Israel and has said it can mediate the war which began in early October. 

"Amid the unprecedented escalation of violence in the zone of the Palestinian-Israel conflict, there are more and more calls for collective action to de-escalate the situation in the Middle East, including an international conference," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It said Moscow "actively supports" such calls and that it was in favor of a "multilateral approach" in regulating the conflict.

"As history has shown, attempts to 'monopolize' mediating functions have led not to regulating conflicts, but to the escalation that we are witnessing," it added, referring to past accusations that Washington had prevented other foreign powers from trying to seek a resolution to the decades-long conflict. 

President Vladimir Putin has said that his country can play a mediating role in the latest war, but officials have so far reached no breakthrough in freeing hostages held in Gaza or putting an end to the fighting.

Moscow launched a diplomatic effort to try to free more than 200 hostages Hamas took during its bloody attack on Israel last month.

At least eight Russian citizens are believed to be among them.

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