Russia releases statement condemning Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

Russia, who have been engaged in what they have dubbed a "special military operation" in Ukraine since February, called for both sides to show "maximum restraint."

 Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 16, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)
Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 16, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)

Russia has condemned Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip after the IDF struck multiple Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets throughout Friday afternoon and Saturday, releasing a statement by the spokesperson for the minister of foreign affairs on Saturday afternoon.

In the written statement shared on the ministry's website, Russia's spokesperson for the foreign minister Maria Zakharova said that "Moscow is seriously concerned about a new round of armed violence in the zone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Russia, who have been engaged in what they have dubbed a "special military operation" in Ukraine since February 24 of this year, stated that "another escalation was provoked by Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on August 5, in response to which Palestinian groups launched massive indiscriminate shelling of Israeli territory."

Adding that she was following the unfolding events with "deep concern," Zakharova said that "the resumption of a full-scale military confrontation" would further deteriorate the "already deplorable humanitarian situation in Gaza."

Saying that Moscow called on all parties to show maximum restraint and to work towards a ceasefire, Zakharova added that the country reaffirms its "principled and consistent position, reflected in the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the UN Security Council, in support of a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the two-state principle.

 Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022 (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS) Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022 (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)

"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 realization of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state within the 1967 borders," she concluded.

An attempt to divert attention away from Ukraine war?

Since invading Ukraine earlier this year, Russia has captured and taken control of multiple Ukrainian territories including Luhansk, Donetsk, Mariupol and Kherson. Also once considered Ukrainian territory, The Crimean Peninsula has been under Russian control since it was invaded and annexed by Russia in March 2014.

According to a UN report from July 16, over 5,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since February, many of them children.

Israel's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has repeatedly criticized Russia's actions in Ukraine, and before him, then-prime minister Naftali Bennet authorized multiple shipments of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, although did not explicitly condemn Russia.

In what analysts have suggested is an attempt to divert attention away from their war in Ukraine, Russia has issued multiple condemnations against Israel, the most recent of which being Saturday's statement. 

Back in June, Russia circulated a drafted UN Security Council resolution condemning the bombing of the international airport in Damascus, which they blamed on Israel. And, since early July, an ongoing crisis has erupted between the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Russian government, which ordered the organization to cease all operations in the country.