Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinReuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday lashed out at Israel over its operations in Gaza, saying they amounted to the "complete elimination of the civilian population" in the Strip.

During a dialogue with delegates from foreign news agencies, including AFP, Putin said, "What is currently happening in Gaza in response to the terrorist attack on Israel does not resemble a war at all. It is akin to the complete elimination of the civilian population."

Putin also said that no power should try to monopolize the search for peace in the Middle East and that Russia is trying to make a contribution to these efforts.

The Russian President said that the United States also has a key role to play and that Washington and Moscow should work to find agreements.

This is not the first time that Putin has criticized Israel over the war in Gaza.

In December, Putin commented on the war in Gaza and said: "What is happening there is a catastrophe – if you look at the special military operation in Ukraine, you can see the difference. What is happening in Gaza, is not happening in Ukraine at all."

Before that, the Russian President said of the war in Gaza, "This is not acceptable to me. Two million people live there. Not all of them support Hamas."

Kan 11 News reported at the time that Israel conveyed a firm message to Russia, stating its dissatisfaction and disappointment with the reactions of senior officials in the country to the war against Hamas.