Moscow is concerned about reports of continued tension in East Jerusalem and calls on all parties to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to avoid escalation, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a June 9 statement.
“We urge all parties to refrain from provocative statements or actions fraught with disruption of public peace and a new large-scale escalation of violence,” Zakharova said.
In particular, she said, Israeli authorities are concerned about restrictions on movement in the Sheikh Jarrah area for Arab residents of the city. The situation could also be aggravated by the resumption of appeals by four Palestinian families in the Israeli Supreme Court against their forced evictions.
Against this background, Israeli ultranationalist organizations are initiating a “march with flags” in Jerusalem through the Muslim quarter of the Old City, Zakharova added.
She stressed that there is reason to fear that this action will lead to new clashes between Arabs and Jews in East Jerusalem.
At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the quartet of mediators on the Middle East settlement, “will continue energetic efforts in the interests of an early resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in order to comprehensively resolve fundamental issues of the final status.”
Zakharova explained that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be discussed with the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Thor Vennesland during his visit to Moscow on June 10.
On June 5, the press office of the Red Crescent reported that nearly 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces on the west bank of the Jordan River during the “Save Sheikh Jarrah” march. Thus, residents oppose the decision of the Israeli court to evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.
In early May, the conflict between Palestine and Israel escalated. Then the Israeli authorities began to evict Arab families in East Jerusalem, which provoked riots and Palestinian protests. On May 10, the radical group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, intervened in the situation. The sides exchanged missile strikes.
On May 20, the Israeli Security Cabinet approved a unilateral ceasefire, which entered into force on May 21 at 02:00 local time (the same as Moscow time). Hamas agreed to a ceasefire mediated by Cairo.