CAIRO, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Palestine’s militant Hamas movement would welcome Russia’s initiative to broker a Gaza ceasefire, a senior Hamas official told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“We have only trust and respect for Russia. We would welcome Russia’s role. We trust it more than the United States,” said Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas's political bureau.
On July 8, Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge aiming to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza and to undermine the Hamas movement, which controls the region. After nine days of intense missile fire exchange, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault, largely aimed at locating and destroying underground tunnels dug by militants to sneak into Israel and transport weapons.
According to Marzouk, the Israeli ground offensive has killed over 1,050 people. Up to 2,000 homes have been torn down after taking direct hits from missiles, with more than 12,000 homes rendered unfit to live in. Mosques, schools and hospitals have also come under massive mortar attacks, he said.