Russia facing the issue between Israel and Palestine

The position of the Kremlin, since the times of the USSR, has been pro-Palestinian and in this context we must place the visit of Hamas representatives to Moscow, not received by Putin, but by the Russian Foreign Minister and, in any case, welcomed in a unequivocally symbolic, in the Kremlin headquarters, thus conferring the maximum degree of officiality and relevance of the meeting. This is a clear political signal aimed both at the USA and the West, and at Israel itself. Moscow is directly involved in the hostage situation, because there are six people of Russian nationality kidnapped, three of whom have dual nationality; while the number of Russian citizens who died in the bombing of the Gaza Strip reaches 23 people. In addition to Hamas, the Russian foreign minister also confirmed an upcoming meeting with the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Despite the difference in views with Hamas, which is against the two-state solution, Russia must exploit the moment to reposition itself as a relevant player in the Middle Eastern area and has every interest in maintaining relations with all the subjects involved in the current issue. If we want to have a broader vision of Moscow’s interests in the Near East, we need to consider the particular relations it has with Iran, Syria and Israel itself. Putin’s desire would be to play a role as mediator in the conflict, which could allow Russia to emerge from the current diplomatic isolation caused by the aggression against Ukraine. Moscow’s action aims to avoid the American monopoly on the management of the crisis, also through accusations against Washington of not supporting Palestinian aspirations for their own state nor the various UN resolutions, which have repeatedly condemned Israel. The Russian proposal in the Security Council was not accepted, because it did not include the condemnation of Hamas, but violence against all civilians on both sides, implying Tel Aviv’s violence towards Gaza; this has resulted in a deterioration of relations between Russia and Israel, which, however, cannot be compromised for common reasons. It should be remembered that Israel did not condemn Russia for the Ukrainian invasion and did not even join the international sanctions. It also did not provide Kiev, whose president Zelensky is Jewish, with the anti-missile system normally used to protect itself from rockets launched by Hamas. At the same time, Russia does not hinder Israel in its defense actions against Hezbollah, coming from Syria, despite the protection that Moscow continues to provide to the Damascus regime. Tel Aviv also needs Moscow’s help to contain Iranian politics in the region, which is a common interest as Tehran has long proclaimed the need to eliminate the Jewish state and implements this strategy through its ever-increasing influence on fundamentalist Shiite militias, Hezbollah and Hamas itself, because, in some ways, the only possible ally is Iran, which has remained to materially support the Palestinian liberation struggle, compared to the increasingly evident withdrawal of the Sunni Arab states in supporting the Palestinians. Tehran implements a policy of material aid in the countries of Lebanon and Syria, which, especially with regard to Damascus, can compromise Russian interests, as well as delicate regional stability. Regarding the conflict with Kiev, Moscow has every interest in international attention shifting to the Middle East and for this reason the Ukrainian president went so far as to state that the Russian country was behind the Hamas attacks. Supporting this hypothesis is very difficult, Hamas’ action was prepared over a long period of time and with substantial supplies, which seem to come from other countries. However, a tangible fact remains that this crisis between Israelis and Palestinians works in Moscow’s favor, even if the attention of the Atlantic Alliance has certainly not waned, but the greater commitment of the US military, especially with naval means, to protect Israel from ‘Iran implies a more diversified commitment and even diplomatic action is no longer focused only on the European objective.

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