Hamas terror leader claims diplomat invited him to Moscow

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.