Beijing, Oct 18 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that a bombing of a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds was a “terrible event, a catastrophe” and a sign that the conflict needed to end “as soon as possible.”
“As for the attack on the hospital, the tragedy that occurred there, it is a terrible event, hundreds of dead, hundreds of wounded. This is, of course, a catastrophe,” Putin told reporters in Beijing after attending the third Belt and Road Forum and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He said that he expected that the bombing would be a signal to “end the conflict as soon as possible” and begin “some contacts and negotiations.”
Putin said he believed no one wanted the situation to escalate further after his telephone conversations with Middle East leaders, including Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
He said he did not want to go into the details of those negotiations.
Putin reiterated that Russia had always favored an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
According to him, the appearance of an independent Palestine on the map will set the conditions for “a lasting peace.”
Over 500 people died in the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on Tuesday.
Palestinian leaders have blamed the Israeli military for the carnage. However, Israel has denied responsibility for the attack that sparked global outrage.
The 2.2 million people in the Gaza Strip are facing a dire humanitarian crisis with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out due to relentless Israeli bombings and a military blockade.
The latest escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has killed nearly 4,500 people in the past 12 days, was triggered after the Islamist Hamas launched a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air.
In retaliation, Israel has continuously bombed the enclave and enforced a tight blockade ostensibly to eliminate Hamas militants and military infrastructure in Gaza. EFE