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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at the Doha Forum, criticized Israel’s response to Hamas’s offensive, highlighting a need for international oversight in Gaza.
Lavrov said, “It was due to decades and decades of a blockade [in Gaza] and decades and decades of unfulfilled promises to the Palestinians that they would have a state, living side to side with Israel in security and good neighborliness.” He added, “This is devastating news and our hearts are broken for the families of those who lost loved ones.” Lavrov also related the Gaza situation to the broader concept of “cancel culture,” explaining, “Whatever you don’t like in the events which lead to a situation, you cancel.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the US role in the conflict and offered Moscow as a mediator. Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s UN representative, echoed these sentiments, stating, “US diplomacy was leaving scorched earth in its wake.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Russia’s position by expressing his “displeasure” in a conversation with Putin, asserting, “any country that would suffer a criminal terrorist attack such as Israel experienced would act with no less force than the one Israel is using.” Aides to Netanyahu also said Russia “had no room” to lecture Israel as they continue their war in Ukraine.
Lavrov’s comments come amid the ongoing Ukraine war, which he describes as a “hybrid war on Russia launched by the United States and NATO.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy countered this narrative, stating, “You are doing your best so that our people abandon the Russian language, because Russian will be associated with you, only with you, with these explosions and killings, with your crimes.”