Russia calls for ‘maximum restraint’ in Gaza after Israel air strikes

Russia on Saturday called for maximum restraint in the Gaza Strip amid the worst escalation of violence since a war last year.

“We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement, adding that Moscow was calling “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint.”

“The new escalation was caused by Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on August 5, to which Palestinian groups responded by carrying out massive and indiscriminate bombardments on Israeli territory.”

Israel hit Gaza with deadly air strikes on Saturday and a Palestinian militant group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire.

Israel has said it was forced to launch a “pre-emptive” operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, insisting the group was planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.

An 11-day conflict in May 2021 between Israel and Gaza militants devastated the densely-populated Gaza Strip and forced countless Israelis to rush to bomb shelters.

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