A delegation from the Hamas resistance movement has met with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow, with both sides underlining the need for intra-Palestinian unity as the US is preparing to unveil a contentious “peace” plan aimed at consolidating Tel Aviv’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
The Russian embassy in Tel Aviv said in a statement that Bogdanov and Mousa Abu Marzook, who headed the Hamas delegation, had “exchanged views on Israeli-Palestinian settlement” during their meeting on Tuesday.
The pair “also discussed efforts to restore intra-Palestinian unity,” read the statement, adding, “There is no alternative to a political solution to the Palestinian problem on the existing legal basis.”
It also noted that the Russian side had “reaffirmed its readiness to provide the Palestinians with the necessary assistance in order to achieve national consensus.”The Hamas delegation travelled to Moscow on Monday at the invitation of Bogdanov.
Hamas runs the Gaza Strip independently of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority as the two Palestinian factions are involved in a political row. Gaza has been under a crippling siege by Israel since 2007 and witnessed three deadly Israeli wars since 2008.
The talks in Moscow come as the US has been working to draw up a highly controversial deal aimed at ending the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That plan — which is widely reported to be biased towards the regime in Israel — has already been unanimously rejected by all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Washington says its deal would not adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by the Arab League in 2002 and urges Israel’s withdrawal from lands it occupied in the 1967 war, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and Syria’s Golan Heights.
Moscow has warned that Washington’s so-called peace plan would “ruin everything” gained from previous conflict resolution, and will fail to fully guarantee a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
Palestinians stopped recognizing the US as a mediator in the conflict with the Tel Aviv regime in 2017, after US President Donald Trump recognized occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” in defiance of international law.