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RUSSIAN PREPARE EVACUATION FROM GAZA

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
GAZA - Russian diplomats have begun drawing up lists of Russian citizens for their possible evacuation from Gaza, which has been hit by massive Israeli air strikes, the Russian embassy to Israel said on Sunday.
Embassy press attache Anastasia Fyodorova said: "We are now working in advance. As soon as we receive the lists, we'll launch the process immediately."
The diplomats declined to specify the timeframe for the humanitarian operation, saying that the main task now was to promptly identify Russian nationals for evacuation and verify lists with Israeli authorities.
Since the launch of Israeli massive airstrikes on Gaza on Saturday in response to rocket and mortar fire by Hamas militants on southern Israel, more than 270 Palestinians are reported to have been killed.
Most Russian nationals in the Gaza Strip are women married to Palestinians and their children.
The UN Security Council called early on Sunday for an immediate halt to all military activities in Gaza. The non-binding statement adopted by the 15-member body calls for an immediate halt to all violence and urges the parties to immediately stop all military actions.
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged an end to military actions in the Gaza Strip and the need to allow humanitarian aid into the enclave, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
Lavrov held a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni on the initiative of the Israeli side, the ministry's press office said.
"The conversation was entirely focused on the Gaza Strip. On our part, we reaffirmed Russia's position in favor of an immediate halt to the military operations in the area that have led to numerous victims among Palestinians," the press office said. The Russian side stressed the need for a ceasefire to ensure security for civilians in southern Israel and also the importance of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza, the press office said.
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