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MOSCOW: Russia on Monday called for an end to the fighting in Gaza and said a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations was essential to avoid the risk of a broader war and an increase in “terrorist activity”.

Russia, which has relationships with Iran, Hamas and major Arab powers as well as with the Palestinians and with Israel, has repeatedly accused the United States and the West of ignoring the need for an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

“The priority today is the speedy cessation of hostilities in Gaza,” Russia’s foreign ministry said. “If not, we will face the risks of radicalisation and an increase in terrorist activity and the danger of the conflict expanding its geography.”

Russia, which last month angered Israel by inviting a Hamas delegation to Moscow, said that Palestinian unity was essential on the basis of the Palestine Liberation Organization, led by Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems especially necessary to ensure inter-Palestinian national unity on the platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which provides for the recognition of Israel and a negotiated solution,” Russia said.

It said that world powers should seek to deter the settlement of areas of the West Bank as well as the trampling of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

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