Zakharova Expresses Fear Concerning Gaza

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expresses her country's concern about the possibility of new escalations between the Palestinians and "Israelis" after the Israeli call to revive the so-called "flags march".

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed Moscow's concern about the possibility of new escalations between the Palestinians and "Israelis". She said, "We are concerned about the news that tension continues in East Jerusalem, especially the restrictions imposed by the Israeli security forces on the movement of Arab residents in the Sheikh Jarrah area, which raises our concern."

She pointed out that the situation "may worsen further in light of the Israeli Supreme Court's decision to reconsider an appeal previously submitted by four Palestinian families against their forced eviction from the aforementioned neighbourhood."

Zakharova adds that "against this background, the ultra-nationalist Israeli organizations are calling for a "flags march" in East Jerusalem,  through the Damascus Gate and the Arab neighbourhoods of the Old City."

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman considered that "there is every reason to fear that this measure will lead to new clashes between the Jewish and Arab residents of East Jerusalem, as well as mass protests in the other occupied Palestinian territories."

It urged all parties to refrain from using provocative statements or actions, which could cause public instability and a new escalation of violence on a large scale.

Zakharova stated that Russia, "as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Quartet of international mediators, will continue, in cooperation with all parties concerned, to make unremitting efforts for direct negotiations to resume between Israelis and Palestinians to achieve a comprehensive solution to the core final status issues, based on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly and the two-state principle.

She concluded by referring to her country's intention to discuss these issues objectively with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, during his visit to Moscow today, Thursday.