Daily Israel Report

Russia Asks Hamas to Stop Rockets

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov speaks to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, asks him to stop "unacceptable" rocket attacks on Israel.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/1/2010, 5:55 PM / Last Update: 4/1/2010, 7:02 PM

file

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke Thursday with Hamas head in Syria Khaled Mashaal. The two spoke by phone about recent developments in the Middle East.

Lavrov told Mashaal that Hamas must stop the fire of rockets on Israeli civilians in the Gaza area. He reportedly termed the attacks “unacceptable.”

Gaza terrorists have carried out increasingly frequent rocket attacks in recent weeks; one such attack killed a Thai worker on an Israeli kibbutz (cooperative community). Terrorists fired a rocket at the Eshkol region near Gaza on Monday night, when Jewish residents of the area were celebrating Passover. No injuries were reported in that attack.

In addition, terrorist groups have continued attacking Israeli soldiers along the Gaza barrier, and on Friday killed two soldiers.

According to Russian media, Mashaal told Lavrov that Hamas is not behind the rocket attacks, and has no intention of escalating violence in the Gaza region. Hamas is attempting to put an end to the rocket attacks, he said.

Lavrov and Mashaal also discussed the latest meeting of the Diplomatic Quartet of the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union. The meeting was held two weeks ago in Russia.

In addition, sources said, Lavrov emphasized the importance of “Palestinian unity.” Hamas has created its own Palestinian Authority in Gaza after breaking away from the Fatah-led PA based in Ramallah, and tensions remain high between the two organizations.