The current situation in the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the focus of a telephone call between the Russian and Iranian Foreign Ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday, TASS reports.
“The two top diplomats exchanged views on the current situation in the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They expressed mutual concern over the ongoing armed confrontation in the Gaza Strip. The sides stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian aid to the civilian population,” it said.
Lavrov also informed his Iranian counterpart about Russia’s efforts within the United Nations Security Council to promote the de-escalation of the situation. “The ministers also touched upon a number of other pressing issues of mutual interest,” the ministry added.
The call was requested by the Iranian side.
Tensions flared up in the Middle East after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli territory, killing many Israelis living in the settlements near the border and abducting more than 200 people, including children, women and the elderly. Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said earlier that his country’s ground troops were expanding operations in the Gaza Strip.