Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that it was not acceptable for Israel to use Hamas’ terror attack on October 7 as justification for the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The minister called for international monitoring on the ground in Gaza as Israeli tanks battled their way to the centre of Khan Younis in a major new push into the heart of the main city in the southern Gaza Strip.
“We strongly condemned the terrorist attack against Israel on Oct. 7,” he said, adding, “At the same time, we do not believe it is acceptable to use this event for the collective punishment of the millions of Palestinian people with indiscriminate shelling.”
Sergei Lavrov said that for there to be “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza “some kind of monitoring on the ground” was needed as “we addressed the [UN] Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] suggesting that he use his authority to consider some kind of monitoring – but so far to no avail.”
This comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin repeatedly blamed the war between Israel and Hamas on the failure of years of US diplomacy in the Middle East.
“This happened not in a vacuum,” he said, pointing to decades of blockade and unfulfilled promises about a Palestinian state.
What Sergei Lavrov said on Ukraine?
Sergei Lavrov said that the West was trying to exhaust Russia in Ukraine by supplying weapons but “it is up to the Ukrainians to recognise how deep they are in the hole where the Americans put them.”
“You’ll have to call Mr Zelenskiy because a year and half ago he signed a decree prohibiting any negotiations with Putin. This deal was aborted – it was cancelled because the Americans and the Brits decided that if Putin is ready to sign it then lets exhaust him more. That’s what they are doing now. Stalemate or no stalemate – that is the fact,” he said.