Russia blames Israel for the latest three-day military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has announced.
"The new escalation was caused by the Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on 5 August," said ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. She pointed out that the Palestinian factions responded to this escalation by firing rockets indiscriminately towards Israeli territory.
"We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving," added Zakharova. "The resumption of a full-scale military confrontation [would see the] already deplorable humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorate further."
The ministry official reaffirmed Russia's "principled and consistent position, reflected in the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, in support of a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the two-state principle.
"It is possible to put an end to cyclical violence only within the framework of the negotiation process, the result of which should be the realisation of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state within the 1967 borders."
Zakharova's statements come at a time when relations between Israel and Russia are tense.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, Yevgeny Kornichuk, declared his solidarity with the occupation state: "As a Ukrainian whose country is under brutal attack by its neighbour, I feel great sympathy for the Israeli public. An attack against children and women is an abominable thing. Terror and a malicious attack against civilians are the daily reality of Israelis and Ukrainians and this appalling threat must be stopped immediately."
Kornichuk made his comments before the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Gaza and Israel came into effect.
Although the occupation state declared that it was targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has confirmed that 44 citizens were killed as a result of the Israeli offensive, including 15 children and four women. Another 360 Palestinian civilians were wounded. Moreover, many homes and residential buildings were destroyed.