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The reasons and goals behind relations between Hamas and Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shakes hands with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (L) in Moscow on February 8, 2010. [NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images]
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shakes hands with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (L) in Moscow on February 8, 2010 [NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images]

At a time when Palestinian diplomacy is witnessing a state of weakness and relapse at the international level, which has negatively affected the Palestinian cause due to weakness in the Palestinian foreign policy being followed, and neglect of the aspect of international relations in general. This has given Israel the opportunity to play on this sensitive nerve when building alliances and normalising relations with those closest to the Palestinian people. It has succeeded in normalising relations with many Arab, African and Asian countries, which have always sided with the Palestinian cause and condemned the terrorism of the Israeli occupation.

Meanwhile, Hamas is working on improving its diplomatic and international status and investing in any opportunity that benefits the Palestinian cause. It is in this context that a delegation from the Movement is visiting Russia, after being invited by the Russian Foreign Ministry recently. This visit is likely taking place to hold talks with Russian officials regarding a number of files, within the framework of Russian efforts related to the developments of the Palestinian cause, especially Jerusalem and Gaza's gas that the Israeli occupation steals and markets for its own benefit. It is clear that the Movement built its efforts on the position of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which was issued recently, on 14 April, in which it described the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories as illegal.

READ: Senior Hamas delegation visits Russia for talks

It is worth noting that the Zionist infiltration of the world's continents has caused great damage to international decisions regarding Palestine. The international silence in the face of the Israeli occupation authorities' racist policies against the Palestinian people, including systematic killing, arrests, bombing, destruction, and siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, confiscation of land and property, and settlement construction did not come out of nowhere. We no longer hear any condemnation from anyone, as was the case in the past, due to the bankruptcy of Palestinian diplomacy and its failure to attract friendly countries. This has, directly or indirectly, made it easier for the Israeli occupation authorities to infiltrate the continents of the world and build friendships and alliances that serve its economic, political and security interests. Some countries even changed the way they deal with the Palestinian cause because of the occupation's influence over their decisions, at a time when we are in the greatest need of support and backing from anyone. This is due to the international injustice against the Palestinian cause and the double standards compared to the Ukrainian cause and the way the world deals with Russia by boycotting it and imposing economic and political sanctions on it while offering generous aid to Ukraine and doing all it can to end the Russian military operation against Ukraine. On the other hand, the international community stands idly by and watches the Israeli occupation's actions while the US gives military, financial and political support. Russia is not a country against the Israeli occupation, but rather resists US domination, and this is its common interest with the resistance movements, despite its differences with Hamas's positions of not recognising Israel.

All this prompted Hamas to pay more attention to the international relations file to attract countries and organisations that align themselves with the rights of the Palestinian people, and then build alliances and mobilise the popular energies of friendly countries, with the aim of tightening the noose around the occupation's neck and boycotting it locally, regionally and internationally. This could create a state of decline in the decisions and policies of countries that have, or are considering, relations with the occupation after the correct image is conveyed to them and the occupation's true face is unmasked and the crimes it commits against the Palestinian people are exposed.

Hamas was right in choosing the right time to strengthen relations with friendly countries and allies allied with the Movement and the Palestinian cause, as well as building strategic alliances abroad. It also succeeded in establishing a strong base of internal alliances with various resistance, national, and Islamic factions in the joint command room. This is despite Israel's attempts to divide them in order to weaken them, as was the case with the latest attack on the Gaza Strip last month. The Resistance proved that it is a united front, evidenced by the fact that the occupation immediately asked for a ceasefire through mediators out of fear of the expansion of its circle.

READ: Algeria to host Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks

Perhaps the most important goals of Hamas building friendly relations with Russia are, first, the Movement's relations with Russia are recognition of its legitimacy by one of the international powers. Secondly, it serves as a testimony that refutes any attempt to demonise the Movement and classify it through the UN Security Council as a "terrorist" movement, as is sometimes stated by US officials, and as was the case in the last draft resolution to criminalise the Movement, which Russia played a role in blocking. Thirdly, the Movement wants Russia to block any project by the occupation to condemn the Movement and confront the American veto. Fourthly, the Movement relies on the Russian role in ending the siege on Gaza and alleviating the suffering of its residents. The Movement also gives importance to the Russian role in the Palestinian reconciliation file.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

ArticleEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineRussiaUkraine
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