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Russia says Israeli air strikes caused escalation of tensions in Gaza

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said Israeli air strikes caused the escalation of tensions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“The new escalation was caused by the Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on 5 August," Zakharova said in a statement, prompting the Palestinians to respond with rocket attacks into Israel.

"We express deep concern about these developments, which could lead to the resumption of an all-out military confrontation and the further deterioration of the deplorable humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip," she said, reaffirming Russia's support for a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict under the principle of the two-state solution.

"We note once again that the recurrent violence can be put to an end only through negotiations, which must lead to the realisation of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders," said Zakharova.