Putin issues order on voluntary evacuation of Russian citizens from Gaza Strip

Moscow/Gaza, May 20 (Agency) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order to evacuate Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) citizens from the Gaza Strip at their request, the document was published on the official legal information portal “In light of the sharp deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip resulting from the military operation by the armed forces of the State of Israel, evacuation of Russian Federation’s and CIS member states’ citizens who are inside the Gaza Strip, should be considered if they express such a desire,” the document read.

Putin tasked the foreign ministry, the emergencies ministry and the foreign intelligence service with determining the deadline and format of citizens evacuation, taking into consideration the developments in the Gaza Strip. Over 400 Russian and CIS citizens desire to leave Gaza and the periods and routes of their returning are under development, the Russian representative office to the Palestinian National Authority told Sputnik on Thursday. “The list includes more than 400 people – both fellow countrymen and CIS citizens. The periods and routes of their evacuation from the enclave are under development,” the representative office said.

Clashes in East Jerusalem in early May led to the worst violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in recent years. Palestinian militants have launched several thousand rockets toward Israel. In response, Israel has fired retaliatory strikes against Gaza. According to the latest information, 12 people were killed in Israel and over 50 were seriously wounded. The number of victims in Palestine has topped 200.