Due to the presence of the Hamas delegation in Moscow, Israel accused Russia of supporting terrorism. Dmitry Peskov explained that it is necessary to maintain relations with all parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Russian Ria Novosti agency reported on Thursday, October 26, that a delegation headed by Abu Marzouk, a member of the Hamas political bureau, had visited Moscow. Subsequent reports spoke of a meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Galuzin.
The meetings of the deputy foreign ministers and the presence of representatives of Palestinian movements were confirmed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a press conference. Another pro-Kremlin agency, TASS, reported that Marzouk met with Bagheri Kani. The two discussed efforts to achieve a ceasefire and provide humanitarian aid to its inhabitants. Iran’s deputy foreign minister confirmed Tehran’s strong support for the Palestinian cause.
Maria Zakharova on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Zakharova had previously stressed the need for a quick ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors for evacuation and delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. She also renewed her appeal for the release of the held hostages. Russia also demands an increase in the number of humanitarian supplies that are necessary for the Palestinian population.
The independent Russian daily Kommersant quoted another member of the Hamas delegation in Moscow. Abu Hamid stated that the hostages could not be released until a ceasefire was agreed. He added that Hamas needs time to locate all the people who were taken to the Gaza Strip by various Palestinian factions.
Israel on the presence of Hamas in Moscow. “Indecent” invitation
The presence of representatives of Hamas and Marzouk in the Russian capital was condemned by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Jerusalem said the invitation was “indecent” and called for the immediate expulsion of representatives of the Palestinian organization, The Times of Israel reported. Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said that “Hamas is a terrorist organization worse than ISIS.”
The Russian embassy in Israel deemed unacceptable any attempts to accuse Russia of supporting terrorism. Responding to Jerusalem’s criticism, Moscow defended the decision to invite the Hamas delegation, emphasizing that it is necessary to maintain relations with all parties to the conflict, Reuters reports. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, explained that the Hamas delegation met with representatives of Russian diplomacy, and not the Russian president himself or Kremlin officials.