ANI Photo | Israel using Hamas’ October 7 attack as justification for “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza: Russia

Condemning Israel’s counter-attack on Gaza, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it is unacceptable that Israel is using Hamas’ October 7 attack as justification for a “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza, Al Jazeera reported.
The Russian leader also called for international monitoring of the situation on the ground in the besieged enclave.
Speaking virtually at the Doha Forum on Sunday, Lavrov told Al Jazeera that an unprecedented attack by Hamas inside the Israeli territory did not happen in a vacuum.
“It was due to decades and decades of a blockade (in Gaza) and decades and decades of unfulfilled promises to the Palestinians that they would have a state, living side to side with Israel in security and good neighbourliness,” he said.
Around 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, while in Israel, the revised official death toll from the Hamas attack stands at about 1,147, Al Jazeera said.
Addressing the Doha Forum, a two-day global meeting being held in the Qatari capital, Lavrov said the ongoing war in Gaza is about “cancel culture” – a recent phenomenon that refers to the mass withdrawal of support to public figures or celebrities who did things in the past that are no more acceptable today.
“Whatever you don’t like in the events which lead to a situation, you cancel,” he said, according to Al Jazeera.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin has also called Israel’s offensive in Gaza a failure of US diplomacy and suggested that Moscow could be a mediator in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Moscow has also condemned this week’s US veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s representative at the UN, said US diplomacy was “leaving scorched earth in its wake,” Al Jazeera reported.
Shortly after Lavrov spoke at the Doha Forum, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a telephone conversation with Putin, expressing his “displeasure” at Moscow’s positions against Israel at the UN and other global forums.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office, read,”The prime minister emphasised that any country that would suffer a criminal terrorist attack such as Israel experienced would act with no less force than the one Israel is using.” (ANI)

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