Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have held a phone conversation regarding the tensions in the Middle East following the recent Hamas attack on the Israeli-occupied areas.
The two leaders discussed the volatile situation between Israel and its neighbors, as their respective forces are engaged in ongoing clashes in the region. Putin assured Netanyahu of Russia’s commitment to work together with Israel in order to deescalate the situation in the region.
The conversation comes days after the Gaza-based group Hamas launched rockets towards Israeli cities in response to Israel’s attempted eviction of Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The attack prompted a retaliatory bombing campaign from the Israeli military, and the conflict has since spiraled into a full-scale war.
Putin and Netanyahu reportedly discussed the need for an immediate ceasefire and the potential of brokering a diplomatic agreement between the two sides. Putin has been vocal in his attempts to broker a diplomatic solution, and is now offering Russia’s assistance as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli Prime Minister was likely trying to secure Moscow’s support for his government’s stance on the conflict, which is largely viewed as an effort to prevent further regional unrest. Netanyahu has repeatedly warned against the risk of wider regional escalation, and has urged the international community to support his country’s security demands.
The conversation between Putin and Netanyahu is yet another indication of the importance of the Russian-Israeli relationship, and the increasing role that Russia has been playing in the Middle East. Despite the high tensions in the region, both Moscow and Jerusalem have been strengthening ties to ensure a lasting peace for their shared region.