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Hamas chief, Russia FM discuss escalations in Jerusalem, Gaza

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh makes a speech during the 12th conference on Jerusalem entitled, "The Vanguards of Jerusalem hold its Sword," in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 December 2021. [Ömer Ensar - Anadolu Agency]
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 December 2021 [Ömer Ensar/Anadolu Agency]

The head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, spoke on the phone with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and discussed the latest developments in the occupied city of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip as well as political efforts made to stop the Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu reported.

During the call, Haniyeh expressed appreciation for Russia's support for Palestinian rights and rejection of the ongoing Israeli manoeuvres in Al-Aqsa Mosque, pointing to Russia's pivotal role in the region.

Haniyeh highlighted the escalation of Israel's measures against Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa Mosque including preventing tens of thousands of Palestinians from accessing the Muslim holy site, assaulting worshippers, breaking the mosque's doors and windows, arresting hundreds of worshippers, and assaulting women and children inside the mosque.

Haniyeh also discussed the Israeli occupation's storming of the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, and the deliberate killing of many Palestinians, imposing a siege on the camp, storming West Bank cities and villages and bombing residential areas in the Gaza Strip.

He called on Russia to play a role in curbing this aggression and preventing Israel from changing the historical and religious character of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

For his part, Lavrov affirmed his appreciation of the Palestinian people and their cause.

"Our position is firm on the issue, as we have always been on the side of the Palestinian people in their right to self-determination and their right to establish their independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

He denounced the Israeli occupation's use of excessive force against civilians, stressing the need to reverse these practices.

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