Russian deputy FM meets senior member of Hamas

Moscow expresses ‘deep concern’ over situation in Gaza Strip

Russian deputy FM meets senior member of Hamas

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Friday met Deputy Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau Abu Marzook in the capital Moscow.

In a statement issued by Russian Foreign Ministry, Bogdanov expressed “deep concern” over growing number of victims and casualties in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting came hours after at least 14 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and over 1,500 others injured by Israeli army’s gunfire near the Gaza border.

Since morning, tens of thousands of Gazans have converged on the strip’s roughly 45-kilometer-long eastern border with Israel to reaffirm their right to return to their ancestral homes in historical Palestine.

“Moscow calls on Palestinian and Israeli sides to exercise restraint and to avoid actions which can harm innocent people", the statement quoted Bogdanov as saying.

Only hours before the marches kicked off Friday morning, a Palestinian farmer was martyred when an Israeli artillery shell struck his land in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel has reportedly deployed thousands of troops along the border in anticipation of Friday’s mass demonstrations.

Dubbed as the “Great Return March”, the demonstrations are also intended to pressure Israel to lift its decade-long blockade of Gaza.

The rallies have been endorsed by virtually all Palestinian political factions, which have repeatedly stressed the event’s peaceful nature.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered from a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its more than 2 million inhabitants of many vital commodities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mart 2018, 10:27