President Putin blames US for current escalation between Israel and Palestine, says Washington tried to solve political problem with economic means
AMN / WEB DESK
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Israel against laying siege to Gaza in the same way that Nazi Germany besieged Leningrad, saying a ground offensive there would lead to an “absolutely unacceptable” number of civilian casualties.
Putin Friday said Israel had been subjected to “an attack unprecedented in its cruelty” by Hamas militants, but was responding with cruel methods of its own.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned that civilian casualties will be “absolutely unacceptable” in case of an Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
Speaking at a meeting of the heads of the Commonwealth of Independents States (CIS) in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, Putin said that employing heavy military equipment in residential areas carries significant risks for all parties involved, yet conducting the operation without it poses its own set of challenges.
The Russian leader blamed the US for the current escalation in the Palestine-Israel conflict, saying Washington tried to solve the political problem, namely the creation of a Palestinian State, with the help of certain measures of economic stimulation.
“The current escalation is a direct result of the failed US policy in the Middle East … The United States tried to monopolize the Middle East settlement, but was not concerned about finding compromises, and did not take into account the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people,” Putin stressed.
He said that Washington blocked the work of the Middle East Quartet – the group that Russia, the EU, UN, and US formed to address the issues of the Palestine-Israel conflict.
“All this gradually led to today’s aggravation. We will talk about this in an informal meeting,” he said.
Putin also reiterated Russia’s readiness to act as a mediator in the Palestine-Israel settlement.
In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.