Moscow's Opinion on Israeli Army Actions Resulting in Civilian Deaths

The Israeli army's actions resulting in civilian casualties "do not facilitate the success of efforts toward the normalization of the situation," the Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department said in a statement on Monday.

It was reported that in an overnight incursion on April 20, Israeli army helicopters and armored vehicles raided the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip with the result that a heavy casualty toll occurred. Russian Foreign Ministry officials noted that the Israeli side contended the incursion was necessitated by the campaign against "terrorist infrastructure." "Russia does not call into question the necessity of taking effective measures to counter the threat of terrorism, wherever it emanates from," the Foreign Ministry stressed.

"However, when practical action in this context leads to deaths of innocent civilians, it tends to have the reverse effect," ministry spokespeople continued. "Feelings of enmity and hatred tend to get exacerbated, which does nothing to facilitate the success of efforts toward the normalization of the situation." Moscow has repeatedly stressed that the one way to rectify the situation is the path of renewed political dialogue and then the full reinstatement of the peace process based on the "roadmap" put together by the international mediating "quartet." "That is just the kind of course that the sides in the conflict must follow if they really want to make genuine headway in unblocking it," the Foreign Ministry emphasized.

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