Senior officials from terror group to discuss Jerusalem tensions with Russian Foreign Ministry representatives.
By World Israel News Staff
As relations between Russia and Israel appear to be rapidly deteriorating, a delegation of senior Hamas officials touched down in Russia on Wednesday morning, where they are expected to meet with government representatives.
According to a report from Palestinian Authority-controlled state news agency Safa, the delegation, led by Egypt-based senior Hamas politburo member Mousa Abu Marzook, will hold “important” talks with Russian officials.
The discussions will be focused on recent developments in Jerusalem, including Hamas demands regarding the Temple Mount, and the terror group’s interest in strengthening ties with Moscow.
Both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have not publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, likely due to the fact that they have historically enjoyed warmer ties with Moscow than with the U.S.
Unlike the U.S., UK and the European Union, Russia has not classified Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Since the 2006 Palestinian elections that brought the terror group to power in the Gaza Strip, Hamas representatives have visited Russia a staggering 14 times, as recently as December 2021.
“The lesson that one can draw from the Russia-Ukraine war is that the time of America’s era as a unipolar superpower is over,” Abu Marzook tweeted in late February 2022, at the onset of the invasion.
Ibrahim Abrash, a political science professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, told Al-Monitor that Hamas was willing to partner with any entity that would help it achieve its goals.
“Hamas is a pragmatic movement, seeking to be on good terms with both sides of the conflict — Russia, on the one hand, and Western countries and the United States on the other,” he said.
The Hamas visit to Moscow comes on the heels of a very public diplomatic spat between Russia and Israel.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has accused Jerusalem of supporting Ukrainian President Volodoymr Zelensky’s “neo-Nazi regime” in Kyiv.
Moscow also recently called for Israel to transfer ownership of a church compound in Jerusalem to Russia after Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned the invasion of Ukraine and accused Moscow of committing war crimes.