Top Palestinian terrorist Ismail Haniyeh claims he received an invitation to make an official visit to the Kremlin.
By Associated Press and World Israel News Staff
The office of Ismail Haniyeh, political leader of the Hamas terror group, claimed that an invitation to visit Moscow was delivered Wednesday by a visiting Russian diplomat. The statement did not elaborate on the purpose of the visit.
Russia maintains high-level contact with Hamas, which Israel, the U.S. and the European Union classify as a terrorist group.
Haniyeh became Hamas’ top “political” leader last year and is locked in a bitter feud with terror group’s military leader Yahya Sinwar, reportedly over policies in the Gaza Strip
According to a recent report by Israel Hayom, the two no longer speak to each other, with one Hamas official describing the schism “unprecedented.” The feud has apparently intensified to the point that is interfering with Egyptian-led efforts to forge a truce with Israel to facilitate Gaza’s economic rehabilitation.
Haniyeh’s predecessor, Khaled Mashaal, visited Moscow frequently.
In 2007, a year after winning parliamentary elections, Hamas drove out the Western-backed Palestinian Authority from Gaza and took over the coastal enclave.
Russia has hosted several rounds of talks aimed at forging reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.