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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Sends Aid to Palestinians, State Duma Condemns Israel

Russia on Wednesday sent humanitarian aid and emergency workers to the Middle East to assist Palestinians, while the State Duma adopted a strongly worded condemnation of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

A plane carrying humanitarian cargo and a group of experts left Moscow for Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday afternoon, a duty officer at the Emergency Situations Ministry confirmed.

Earlier, Deputy Minister Yury Brazhnikov said Wednesday's shipment would include 20 tons of food, 1,000 blankets and 30 three-person tents.

"After the situation in Palestine is assessed, a mobile hospital and necessary specialists of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry are expected to be sent to the region," Brazhnikov was quoted by Interfax as saying. Tentatively, the ministry group is to work in Jenin and other settlements controlled by the Palestinian Authority, he said.

Brazhnikov said Russia had reached an agreement with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the assistance.

Meanwhile, the Duma passed a resolution harshly criticizing Israel and urging UN sanctions if Israel does not put an end to alleged human rights violations and to fighting around the Church of the Nativity and other holy sites.

"The State Duma decisively condemns the actions of Israeli troops, which have led to the mass deaths of civilians, and demands the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories," the chamber said in the resolution, which 227 of the chamber's 450 members approved.

There were no votes against the measure and one abstention.

The Duma urged President Vladimir Putin to "more decisively defend Russia's interests in the Middle East."

While Russia is officially a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process along with the United States, Moscow has taken a much less active role in trying to broker a political solution.