Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
regarding the development of the situation around Gaza
31 July 2014 — Against the backdrop of Israel’s non-stop military operation, the situation in the Gaza Strip continues to worsen. The attempts to achieve a cease fire between Israel and Palestinian groups still give no results. Further escalation of violence is bringing us to the point that this confrontation can become one of the bloodiest in the entire history of the confrontation between Israel and Gaza.
According to available information, more than 1300 Palestinians were killed and about 7600 were wounded since the beginning of the conflict. The majority of those, who were killed or hurt, were civilians. Israel’s strikes have seriously damaged the civil infrastructure. We condemn the shooting by Israeli tanks at the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) school on the 30 July, which, according to the incoming messages, killed 19 innocent people.
The losses of Israel for the same period exceeded 50 persons, mainly military personnel. 2400 missiles were launched at the territory of Israel.
Moscow is deeply concerned about the growing numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza. An absolute priority now is to ensure a humanitarian cease fire as soon as possible, to stop the bloodshed and suffering of the peaceful population. This should become a foundation for future agreements, which would exclude the possibility of such dangerous recurrences, having ensured normal living conditions and development for the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel’s security.
In this regard, we welcome and actively support the efforts undertaken to implement the Egyptian peace initiative. We believe that collective efforts of all the interested parties are necessary to assist the resolution of the crisis around Gaza. We are convinced that the creation of conditions for the renewal of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on the issues of the final status of Palestinian territories should be an important aim of such a work.