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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Israel unhappy with Russian stance on Gaza war

Diplomats reportedly want Moscow to take a “more balanced” position

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has conveyed its “displeasure” with Russia’s position on the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, the public broadcaster Kan reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.

“Russia’s conduct and the remarks against Israel don’t correspond with the severity of the situation Israel is in, which is a state of war,” Israeli diplomats reportedly told their Russian counterparts.

Read more: Qatar’s emir: Israel shouldn’t get unrestricted OK to kill

Israel also expressed “displeasure with the role Russia is playing” in the war against Hamas and hope that Moscow will take “more balanced” positions, another ministry official told the Times of Israel.

Moscow’s proposed resolution in the UN Security Council did not include “an explicit condemnation” of Hamas, and did not match President Vladimir Putin’s endorsement of Israel’s right to self-defense, according to the ministry.

Israel was subjected “to an attack that was unprecedented in its brutality, and it certainly has the right for defense, to ensure its peaceful existence,” the Russian leader said on October 13, just days after the Hamas incursion that resulted in more than 1,300 Israeli deaths.

However, on the same occasion, Putin noted that true peace can only be achieved when the Palestinians have a state of their own. He advised Israel not to react with “brutality,” noting that Gaza was home to around two million civilians, not all of whom supported Hamas, and argued that the proposed “total blockade” of the territory would be just as unacceptable as the siege of his home city (then Leningrad) during World War II.

Read more: Russia condemns Hamas attack but says Israel provoked it

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has advocated for an immediate stop to the conflict, urging all parties to “respect international humanitarian law, prevent any terrorist actions and indiscriminate use of force.” He also called for the implementation of the UN-endorsed two-state solution to the conflict.

On Tuesday, Israeli diplomats called for the resignation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after he told the Security Council that the Hamas attack “did not happen in a vacuum” and noted that the Palestinians had been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, accused Guterres of expressing “an understanding for terrorism and murder” and “compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced he would boycott meetings with Guterres, adding that “after October 7th there is no room for a balanced approach. Hamas must be wiped out from the world!”