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DD India

October 18, 2023 5:06 PM IST

Putin says strike on Gaza hospital is terrible, calls for negotiations

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 18 that a strike on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians was a terrible catastrophe that showed the conflict should be ended.

Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for the blast at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital, which it said had killed as many as 500 people. Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

Russia, which has relationships with Iran, Hamas, major Arab powers as well as with the Palestinians and with Israel, has repeatedly said the United States and the West have ignored the need for an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

Putin on Monday spoke to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In those talks, Putin said he had formed the impression that no major players wanted the conflict to escalate.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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