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Palestine-Israeli Conflict: Why Russia Called for Peace in the Middle-East

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In the month of October, Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin and others began talking broadly about peace in the Middle-East. There were strong calls for the United Nations to take urgent steps to halt Israel’s military atrocities that started October 7 against the Palestine in the Gaza. At least, official statements called for diplomacy mechanisms for ensuring global peace. Russia might have also found itself in a precarious position with the war against neighbouring Ukraine. Seemingly both Palestines and Ukraineans are in a predicament, blamed on the global dominance of the United States.

Tensions in the Middle East flared up again after Hamas militants infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian movement described its attack as a response to the actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israel announced a total blockade of Gaza and started carrying out strikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.

United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of a resolution calling for a “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” in Gaza tells the story. The fundamental question and the first responsibility and task is to stop human catastrophe in the region. Around the world, there have been harrowing images from Gaza in the local and foreign media, in the social media and television news outlets, there have also been mounting international public and political pressure aim at seeing a different picture in that part of the Arab world.

On October 30, Putin held a meeting with members of the Security Council and Government, and the heads of Security Agencies. The basis of the meeting was due to the current situation in the Middle East and issues related to ensuring law and order in the Russian Federation. It was not the first time Putin mentioned this, as there previous attempts to use the dramatic situation in the Middle East and extend that in destabilizing the situation in Russia.

“There is no justification for the terrible events taking place in Gaza now, where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are being killed indiscriminately, without having anywhere to flee or hide from the bombing. When you see blood-stained children, dead children, the suffering of women and old people, when you see medics killed, of course, it makes you clench your fists as tears well in your eyes. There is no other way to put it,” Putin said at the meeting stressing the tragedy in the Gaza.

Putin pointed to the United States as unwilling to accept this, and instead seeks to preserve and extend its dominance, its global dictatorship, which is easier to achieve amid such chaos because the United States believes this chaos would help it contain and destabilise its rivals or, as they put it, their geopolitical opponents, among which they also rank Russia, which in reality are new global growth centres and sovereign independent countries.

While reiterating that the key to resolving the conflict lies in establishing a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, a full-fledged Palestinian state,  Putin also underscored the fact that the ruling elites of the United States and its satellites are behind the tragedy of the Palestinians, the massacre in the Middle East in general, the conflict in Ukraine, and many other conflicts in the world – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and so on. It is the United States who install their military bases everywhere, who use military force on every pretext and without any pretext, who send weapons to conflict areas. They are also channelling financial resources, including to Ukraine and the Middle East, and fuelling hatred in Ukraine and the Middle East. 

The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation has appealed to the United Nations and the world parliaments to take all possible measures to stop the bloodshed and escalation of violence against civilians in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and to avert an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East.

The document which was adopted further said that only through collaborative efforts is necessary to put a halt to the new conflict in the Middle East and proceed with discussions that adhere to a fair-minded approach and the resolutions passed by the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Security Council.

Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin stressed that by promising sending military aid to Israel and Ukraine, the US President “fuels the conflicts where people die” and added that Washington decided to escalate the conflict. “Now [Washington] has started the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Tensions are growing in the Taiwan region,” he remarked, suggested “the UN must prosecute Biden as a war criminal, as he is the person fueling the conflicts in the world.”

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, indicated in her media briefing October 26, the geographical expansion of fighting in the West Bank. She also remarked that there have been extreme concern about the military manoeuvres by non-regional parties in the Eastern Mediterranean. These factors heighten the risks of the conflict escalating into a region-wide one. 

Russia is continuing its efforts towards a faster resolution of this crisis. Together with constructively minded partners, Russia continues pursuing an active policy at the UN Security Council to achieve an early ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Unlike Russia and Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry advocated for coexisting Palestine with Israel, resolution by political mechanism and diplomacy. “We reaffirm our principled and consistent belief that this long-standing conflict cannot be resolved by force and can only be addressed by political and diplomatic means, through the establishment of a full-scale negotiation process within the well-known international legal framework, which should result in the creation of an independent Palestinian state within its 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting with Israel in peace and security,” concluded Zakharova.

Besides official lines, there were also expert opinions abound, published in the local and foreign media. Some experts argued that Israel’s project was aimed at oil and gas resources. In the current context, Israel’s “All Goes to Plan” option consists in bypassing Palestine and “Wiping Gaza off the Map”  as well confiscating the entire Gaza’s maritime offshore gas reserves, worth billions of dollars.

The ultimate objective is not only to exclude Palestinians from their homeland, it consists in confiscating the multi-billion dollar Gaza offshore Natural Gas reserves. Whilst Israel claims them as her very own treasure trove, only a fraction of the sea’s wealth lies in Israel’s bailiwick as maps. Much is still unexplored, but currently Palestine’s Gaza and the West Bank between them show the greatest discoveries… (Felicity Arbuthnot, 2013).

The timeline resulting from these bilateral Israel-Egypt “secret talks” i.e. confiscation of Palestine’s offshore Maritime Gas Reserves is “The Beginning of 2024”. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Egypt and Israel, which had the rubber-stamp of the Palestinian National Authority (PA): “The Egyptian official explained that Israel required the start of practical measures to extract gas from the Gaza fields at the beginning of 2024, to ensure its own security. (Al-Monitor, October 22, 2022).

According media reports, for instance, a massive pro-Palestinian rally held at Istanbul airport last weekend showed widespread support for Palestine within Turkey, with about 1.5 million people took part. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid the ultimate blame for the developments in the Palestinian enclave on the West, accusing it of hypocrisy, as he pointed to the sharp contrast in how European countries reacted to the situation in Ukraine and to similar events in Gaza. Against this backdrop, he cancelled his trip to Israel, although the itinerary had already been pre-arranged. And Tel Aviv moved to recall its diplomats from Turkey and expel the Turkish diplomatic mission to Israel in the wake of the Istanbul rally, writes Russia Financial Izvestia newspaper on October 31.

While Turkey is unlikely to make any radical changes in the current configuration of its foreign relations, Erdogan could still cause some pain for the West amid the ongoing developments in Palestine, Yelena Suponina, an expert in Asian and Islamic studies, told Financial Izvestia. “I think this may affect such spheres as Turkey’s partnership with its NATO allies, including as regards Sweden’s membership bid,” she surmised.

At this point, the Israeli-Palestine conflict could have tremendous impact as the world is again partitioned into pros and cons. Regional organizations and individual states have called for using the political opportunities to stop the war which has also raised deep concern at the United Nations. Secretary-General António Guterres has reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire between Israeli forces and militants from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and other militant groups to avoid further human tragedy.

The UN chief repeated his utter condemnation of the acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. Guterres stressed that international law “establishes clear rules that cannot be ignored.  It is not an a la carte menu and cannot be applied selectively.”

All parties must abide by the rules, “including the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution.” Looking to the dangers of spillover across borders into Lebanon and Syria, the UN chief said he remained “deeply concerned about the risk of a dangerous escalation” while urging all leaders in the region to exercise utmost restraint.

Putin suggested at the Security Council meeting that “the only way to help Palestine is to fight those who are behind this tragedy” and further emphasized “the key to resolving the conflict lies in establishing a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, a full-fledged Palestinian state.” Similarly, those behind the war in Ukraine must be set free, allow those behind the Ukraine war to enjoy their relative freedom. That is the irony. Some still believe that Russia and Israel have same the goals: to respectively wipe away contemporary Ukraine and the Palestines, completely out of the world map.