Brazil aims to prevent escalation of Hamas-Israel conflict, Lula says

A view of a junction shows the aftermath of a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in the Sderot area, southern Israel
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BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil hopes to prevent escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Saturday, after his country called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to address the crisis.

Brazil, which assumed the Security Council's rotating presidency this month, condemned the surprise Hamas attack on Israel on Saturday that killed dozens of people and prompted the Israeli military to launch deadly air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

A statement from the South American country's foreign ministry also reaffirmed a commitment to a "two-state solution," with Palestinians and Israelis coexisting within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders.

"Brazil will spare no efforts to prevent an escalation of the conflict, including during its tenure as President of the U.N. Security Council," Lula wrote on the social media platform X.

Diplomats said the council is due to meet on Sunday.

The coordinated Hamas operation, which included gunmen crossing into Israel as well as the firing of a barrage of rockets from Gaza, was the biggest attack on Israel in years. Israel said the Iran-backed group's militants had attacked several Israeli towns and military bases near Gaza.

"The Brazilian government reiterates that there is no justification for resorting to violence, especially against civilians, and urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint to prevent an escalation of the situation," Brazil's foreign ministry said.

It added that "the mere management of the conflict is not a viable alternative for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the resumption of peace negotiations is urgent."

(Reporting by Marcela AyresEditing by Brad Haynes and Paul Simao)