Russia calls for 'quartet' discussions on violence in Israel, Gaza Strip

Russia calls for 'quartet' discussions on violence in Israel, Gaza Strip

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday called on a group of four international mediators to resolve the spiking violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip. 

“Today I think we have reached the common denominator that the most pressing issue is to convene the international mediators quartet: Russia, the U.S., the EU and the U.N.,” Lavrov said at a joint briefing with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow, adding that Guterres should be the quartet’s coordinator “at the earliest opportunity.”

Lavrov added that a meeting of the quartet should take place “at the level of foreign ministers.”

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The quartet was first established in 2002 to try to craft a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are totally committed to revitalizing the quartet, we are totally committed to promote all forms of dialogue by the parties and by other key actors that can be supportive of all [measures] necessary for de-escalation but also for the revitalization of the peace process that has been dormant for too much time,” Guterres said. “The recent incidents demonstrate how important it is to restart, effectively, the peace process.”

The remarks come amid ballooning violence between the Israeli military and militants in the Gaza Strip.

Armed groups like Hamas began launching rocket attacks on Israel in response to clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem. Israeli jets responded with airstrikes. Several fatalities have been reported on both sides, including a number of children.