Hamas chief in Moscow for talks with Russian FM

Hamas leader Ismail Hanieyh will reportedly present ideas about a new “Palestinian national front against the Zionist regime” to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The head of the Hamas’ politburo touched down in Moscow on Saturday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Gaza-based terror group announced in a statement.

Ismail Haniyeh, a senior leader within the terror group, is leading a “high-profile delegation” which includes Deputy Hamas chief Saleh Arouri and other members of its political wing, Hamas said.

London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Haniyeh will present a number of new ideas to Russian officials, including “a detailed discussion of Hamas’ plans to establish a Palestinian national front against the Zionist regime’s acts of aggression.”

Hamas is also interested in learning how Moscow can help “accelerate and advance” the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

Taher Al-Nono, a Hamas media adviser, emphasized that the terror group had been invited by the Russian government, and added that the visit comes during a “very important time at the level of the region and the world.”

Although Israel initially took a neutral stance during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, relations between Moscow and Jerusalem have deteriorated in recent months.

Moscow, which has de facto control of Syria’s airspace, has signaled an increasing unwillingness to allow Israel to carry out airstrikes on Iranian assets in the country and has moved to shut down Jewish Agency operations in Russia.

After an IDF operation against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in August, Russia released a statement criticizing Israel and Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

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Hamas delegations have visited Moscow on a number of previous occasions, most recently in May. Shortly after the trip, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told media that Russia would be willing to serve as a mediator between Palestinian terror groups and Israel.