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Hamas delegation discusses ‘foreign hostages’ during talks in Moscow

Source: Meduza
Yuri Kochetkov / EPA / Scanpix / LETA

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry reported that the “release of foreign hostages located in the Gaza Strip” was discussed during a meeting with Abu Marzook, one of the leaders of Hamas. “Issues connected to securing the evacuation of Russian and other foreign citizens from [the Gaza Strip]” were also raised, reports Russian state news agency Interfax.

The ministry’s statement refers to Hamas as the “Islamic Resistance Movement” and calls Abu Marzook, one of the group’s ideologues, a “member” of the movement’s “politburo.”

The ministry’s statement did not mention that Hamas had taken the hostages, which included Russian citizens. Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov previously reported that the hostages “allegedly” include three Russian citizens, who also hold Israeli passports.

There was also no mention of the Russian citizens who were killed in the October 7 attack on Israel launched by Hamas. According to Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, 23 Russian citizens were killed, and another four were reported missing. On October 20, Anatoly Viktorov said that 20 Russian citizens were killed, and seven missing.

According to the Israeli government, more than 1,400 people were killed in the attack by Hamas, and approximately 200 taken hostage. Hamas claims that more than 7,000 people have been killed as a result of the Israeli Defense Forces’ counterattack on the Gaza Strip. This information has not been independently verified.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry statement also didn’t specify who exactly participated in the talks with Abu Marzook. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan to meet with the Hamas delegation.

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani also arrived in Moscow on October 26. He conducted talks with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister Mikhail Galuzin, and Special Representative for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement reads that the “regional agenda was thoroughly discussed, with a focus on the unprecedented escalation in the Palestine-Israel conflict zone. The need for the cessation of hostilities in and around the Gaza Strip and the swift provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population in Palestine was reaffirmed.” The statement did not mention the Israeli or Russian citizens affected by the conflict.

More on the history of Russia’s relationship with Hamas

High hopes, limited influence A brief history of Russia’s relationship with Hamas

More on the history of Russia’s relationship with Hamas

High hopes, limited influence A brief history of Russia’s relationship with Hamas

Translation by Sasha Slobodov

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