Russia criticizes recent IDF raid in Ramallah

Russia on Friday criticized an IDF raid on Ramallah, saying it added to tensions among Palestinians at a sensitive time when their stated intention of ending internal strife should be encouraged. IDF forces entered Ramallah on Thursday in the first major army raid since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed two weeks ago to try to ease tensions. Four Palestinians were killed and 20 were wounded in the fighting. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Abbas and rival PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas met early Friday and agreed to work to defuse spiraling factional violence. "Against this background the actions of Israel that objectively heat up tension in the Palestinian territories, including the military operation in ... Ramallah, cannot fail to cause concern," the ministry said in a statement.