Russia urged Lebanon and Israel to exercise patience in connection with the “worsening” of the situation on the border between the two countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, according to TASS. “Over the past few days we have been witnessing an escalation of tension on the border between Israel and Lebanon,” the ministry said, adding, “According to media reports, several rockets were fired from the Lebanese territory on December 20, to which the Israeli army retaliated with artillery fire. No deaths or injuries have been reported.”
It’s always nice to be cautioned about patience and tempered reactions by the Putin government, and so , Israel’s Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz responded on Tuesday that Israel understands Russia’s interests in the current geopolitical situation and supports its efforts against international terrorism. “As concerns the geopolitical situation, naturally, we understand Russia’s interests,” Heifetz said at a meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council’s upper parliament house. “We support efforts against world terrorism. We have been telling this for more than a century.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command has claimed responsibility for the shelling of Israel, accusing it of the airstrikes on Jaramala near Damascus on Sunday which took out a former PFLP terrorist who did some work for Hezbollah as well.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it sees the developments with major concern. “The worsening of the situation, including in the area of the Lebanese-Israeli border, is fraught with a further degradation of the situation in the Middle East on the whole,” the ministry said. “With this in view, we urge all parties involved in the confrontation to demonstrate restraint.” The ministry said the existing ceasefire should be observed on the Lebanese-Israeli border, in line with all international commitments.
To which Israel’s ambassador reiterated that the Jewish State supports Russia’s steps “to protect the world and civilization from a certain group of bloodthirsty extremists,” since, as he put it aptly, “We have had such experience and we are ready to share it with our friends.”