Hamas seeks to advance relations with Russia

The head of Hamas’s political bureau is scheduled to visit Moscow next week, after the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the top Hamas leader to hold an official meeting with President Vladimir Putin. While the Kremlin did not specify the reason for the invitation, Hamas said in a statement that “Ismail Haniya is expected to meet the Russian leadership to boost the bilateral relations and discuss the political developments in Palestine.” The statement further read: ” The meetings will highlight the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the possible ways to remove the plight of Gaza, and the re-enforcement of ceasefire agreements with the Israeli occupation.” It is important to note, that in contrast to the European Union and United States that listed Hamas as a terrorist organization, the Russian Federation does not view Hamas as a terror entity, citing the fact that the Islamist group was democratically elected by the Palestinian people in 2006.