Putin set to hold phone talks today with leaders of Israel, Palestine — presidential aide

Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation

© APA | Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation

# 16 October 2023 19:22 (UTC +04:00)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold five international telephone calls today, including with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov told journalists on Monday, APA reports citing TASS.

"Today we have, you could say, a "power surge" with five phone conversations scheduled. The president has already spoken with the president of Syria [Bashar Assad] and the president of Iran [Ebrahim Raisi]," Ushakov said.

"The rest of today’s phone conversations include those with the presidents of Egypt [Abdel Fattah] El-Sisi, of Palestine [Mahmoud] Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu," the Russian presidential aide added.

This means, Ushakov continued, that before his visit to China, Putin "will have held talks with all the key players in the conflict."

"He [Putin] will certainly lay out our assessments and describe our stance. He will listen to statements on the issue from his colleagues," Ushakov noted.

"The president is keeping a close eye on the unprecedented escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All issues related to the conflict remain the focus of his attention," the Russian presidential aide said.

Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel has announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and carried out air strikes on targets there and inside Lebanon and Syria, as well. Hostilities have also broken out on the West Bank.

More than 2,600 Palestinians have been killed in clashes and strikes, while some 9,600 have suffered wounds, since the renewed outbreak of violence began. In Israel, roughly 1,500 people lost their lives and almost 4,000 have been wounded.