MOSCOW

DECEMBER 28 2008 15:55h

Russia Asks Israel To End Gaza Attacks, Let In Aid

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov conveyed Moscow`s position during a telephone conversation with Tzipi Livni held at her initiative.

Russia urged Israel on Sunday to end military attacks that had killed nearly 300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and allow humanitarian supplies into the territory, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov conveyed Moscow's position during a telephone conversation with Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni held at her initiative, the ministry said in a statement.

"Our side expressed Russia's position in favour of an immediate end to military actions in the Gaza Strip, which have already led to numerous victims among the Palestinians," the statement said.

"It was underlined that it is necessary to restore the regime of ceasefire, which would ensure the security of the civilian population in Israel's south. Russia stressed the importance of letting humanitarian cargo into Gaza."

On Sunday, Israel destroyed Hamas's main Gaza security complex in an air strike on the territory run by the Islamist Hamas group.

Israel is also preparing for a possible invasion of the Gaza Strip after killing more than 280 Palestinians in the first 24 hours of a powerful offensive.

Israeli leaders said the campaign was a response to almost daily cross-border rocket and mortar fire that intensified after Hamas ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.