MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia on Friday said it was "seriously concerned" over the latest violence between Israel and the Palestinians, as Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni prepared to fly to Moscow for talks.
"Moscow is seriously concerned over the sharp worsening of the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, as a result of which there are dead and injured, including civilians," the foreign ministry said.
In a statement, it urged both sides to avoid violence, saying: "Rocket attacks and other terrorist actions against Israeli civilians and response measures that affect innocent Palestinians must be stopped."
Israeli troops killed 19 Palestinians on Tuesday, including the son of a top Hamas leader. Israeli authorities said they were responding to rocket and sniper attacks from Hamas militants.
Meanwhile, the Russian news agency Interfax quoted a statement from the Israeli embassy in Moscow saying Livni would discuss the "threat" from Iran during her consultations with Russian officials.
Livni is due to arrive in Moscow later Wednesday to meet with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Russia, which is building Iran's first nuclear reactor, has supported the Islamic republic's right to atomic energy, while Western nations believe Iran's secret intention is to make nuclear weapons.
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