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The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned by recent attacks by Jewish
The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned by recent attacks by Jewish settlers against Palestinians civilians in the West Bank and has urged Israel to call a halt to construction in the area.

"Moscow expresses serious concerns in connection with these events. Such actions by the settlers cannot but draw criticism," the ministry said in a statement.

Violence broke out on Friday after Israeli troops demolished several illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank town of Hebron. The displaced settlers, who had attempted to expand the Kiryat Arba enclave, threw rocks at Palestinian houses and vandalized Muslim graves.

The construction of state-sanctioned settlements, a major obstacle to reaching a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, has nearly doubled since 2007, despite Israel's pledge to freeze such activities.

The Russian ministry said "the policy of the continued construction and expansion of the Israeli settlements should be stopped as it affects the atmosphere of talks between the sides and destroys the peace process."

The European Union has called on the Israeli government to "take the necessary measures to put an immediate end" to the violence.


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