Russian FM accuses Israel of imposing ‘collective punishment’ on Gazans

‘This is an invitation to more barbarian methods of fighting on both sides. On all sides. We are convinced.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told CBS that Israel was imposing “collective punishment” on Gazans and blamed the U.S. for “expanding the conflict.”

Although Sergey Lavrov said Russia “strongly condemns” the terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas against Israelis on October 7th, he claimed that Israel’s military operations to eliminate Hamas have ignored “international humanitarian norms” and have imposed “collective punishment” on the entire population of Gaza.

He added, “This is an invitation to more barbarian methods of fighting on both sides. On all sides. We are convinced.”

Currently, the Hamas Health Ministry places the number of Gazan casualties at 26,000, but these numbers haven’t been independently verified, and the IDF has said that at least 9,000 of the dead are Hamas terrorists.

Shortly after the October 7th massacre, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the murders, rapes, mutilation and kidnapping of Israeli civilians “didn’t happen in a vaccum.”

“You know, Mr. Antonio Guterres, when these unacceptable terrorist attacks happened on the 7th of October 2023, condemned them, but he said, but this happened not in a vacuum,” said Lavrov.

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He continued, “he was chastised immediately by Israeli officials that he is supporting terrorists, terrorist methods, that the United Nations is a terrorist organization.”

“But he was right. Because for 75 years … the General Assembly decided to have two states: Jewish state and Arab state in Palestine.”

On several occasions, Palestinians leaders have been offered plans for a two-state solution and rejected them.

In the summer of 2000, Yasser Arafat rejected a proposal for a Palestinian state presented at the Camp David summit by then Israeli PM Ehud Barak and never gave a counter-proposal.

Lavrov accused the United States of “monopolizing” the Israel-Hamas conflict and not pushing hard enough for a Palestinian State.

He said, “The United States closed it. They didn’t like any competition. They like monopolism. They monopolized, they usurped the political process.”

He added, “They were not a fair broker. And they were not promoting the creation of the Palestinian state.”

President Joe Biden and Secretary Antony Blinken have lately been urging Israel to consider agreeing to a Palestinian state, but Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected any plan that would put the Palestinian Authority in control of Gaza and has emphasized the need for Israel to maintain security controls in the region to prevent a repeat of the October 7th massacres.

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Lavrov also accused the United States of “expanding the conflict” to the Red Sea and “starting aggression against Yemen.”

The Iran-funded Houthi terrorists in Yemen began attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea, and the US and the UK navies have retaliated.

The Russian Foreign Minister accused Israel of dehumanizing the enemy and attacking civilians intentionally.

“After the 7th of October 2023 Israeli military commanders, some of the most radical people in the current government, were saying that Palestinians are all extremists. When in Gaza each of them reaches the age of three, by that time they are already extremists and terrorists. They were also called  ‘animals,” Lavrov said.

He also condemned Israel for hitting targets in Syria.

“We strongly call upon Israelis to stop attacking Syria, including airports of Damascus and Aleppo, which interrupts the delivery of humanitarian assistance, by the way, we call on them to stop political killings,” he said.

Israel didn’t hit airports or attack those transporting humanitarian aid, although Israel was held responsible for an airstrike in Syria that killed Hezbollah leader Wissam al-Tawil.