What Role Does Russia Have to Play in Hamas’s Invasion of Israel? Q&A with Expert Hanna Notte

October 13, 2023
Hanna Notte

The following is an excerpt from RFE/RL.

Last March, a Palestinian delegation arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian officials. The delegation was from Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that’s been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. The meeting, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, touched on Russia’s “unchanged position in support of a just solution to the Palestinian problem.”

“When considering the issue of restoring Palestinian national unity, the Russian side expressed its readiness to continue to assist in overcoming differences and bringing together the positions of leading Palestinian political forces and movements on the platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” the ministry’s readout said.

Russia’s ties to Hamas are well-documented, as are its ties to Hamas’s main backer, Iran. For some observers and commentators of the ongoing bloodshed in Israel, that in itself is cause for blaming Moscow, accusing it of having a direct hand in the spiraling violence.

That’s not correct, said Hanna Notte, a Berlin-based analyst with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and an expert on Russian policy in the Middle East.

Russia’s embrace of Iran has benefited Moscow in its war on Ukraine, with Tehran supplying kamikaze drones and other equipment to help Russian forces seeking to hold back a slow-moving Ukrainian counteroffensive. But it’s a big stretch to extrapolate from there and say Russia would endorse Hamas’s bloody assault and risk outright disruption in relations with Israel, whose ties to Moscow are lukewarm but certainly not hostile, she said.

Continue reading at RFE/RL.

Comments Are Closed