A state of anger and irritation prevails within Israeli political circles following the tripartite meeting convened by Russian president, Dimitry Medvedev, and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, with the leader of the Hamas' political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus yesterday.
The newspaper "Israel Today" quoted a well placed Israeli political source as saying: "this meeting is disappointing and will not advance the region's stability. In addition, it could give legitimacy to terrorism in the Middle East"
The source added that: "Hamas has not disavowed terrorism and such a meeting has the ability to weaken officials within the Palestinian Authority. It in no way advances the release of the prisoner Gilad Shalit and will bring nothing but harm."
The Russian president called on Meshaal to achieve Palestinian reconciliation based on the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation so as to strengthen it. Similarly, he called on him to resolve the problems associated with the release of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
According to Natalya Timakova, Press Attaché to the Russian president, during the meeting which was also attended by the Syrian president, focus was placed on the difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the creation of a support channel for its inhabitants and the necessity of doing whatever possible to ease the effects of the blockade on the elderly.
This follows the delivery of humanitarian food aid and building materials in line with the decision issued by the Quartet following its ministerial meeting in Moscow on the 19th March last year.