The assassination of Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, is “a disaster that shook the world”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, has said, adding that only a few people heard the news of her death “without being deeply affected”.
“The Palestinian journalist was killed while exercising her journalistic duty, while she was reporting about the Israeli forces’ invasion of the Jenin refugee camp,” Zakharova said, adding that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered his condolences to Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs and member of the Fatah Central Committee Hussein Al-Sheikh upon receiving him in Moscow.
Zakharova added that Lavrov stressed Russia’s support for the Palestinian leadership’s demand for a comprehensive and objective investigation into Abu Akleh’s murder.
Commenting on Israeli occupation forces’ attack on the journalist’s funeral procession, the Russia spokeswoman said: “I want to tell you that I have never seen anything like this in my life. And I want to stress that the absence of a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and the obstruction of the negotiations process turn into more intense clashes each time where innocent civilians, including women and children, are victims.”
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“The occurrence of these tragedies could have been avoided by reaching mutually acceptable results on final status issues on the basis of international resolutions and recognised international law for a settlement in the Middle East, which provides for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and this has been repeatedly confirmed by Russia,” she added.
Relations between Russia and Israel have soured in recent months following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. In April, Russia summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Ben Zvi, to reprimand him after Israel supported Moscow’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council over its invasion of Ukraine.
Days later, Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, announced that Israel will provide Ukraine with helmets and flak jackets.
Moscow has since condemned “Israel’s illegal occupation and creeping annexation of Palestinian territories.”