Haniyeh accepts invitation to Russia following Kremlin’s offer to mediate peace talks with Israel and reconciliation between Hamas and PA; US and Israel lobbying EU states on Hamas resolution at UN.


Russia’s Foreign Ministry officially invited Hamas political head Ismail Haniyeh to Moscow.

Haniyeh confirmed the invitation was given on Wednesday by Russia’s mission to the Palestinian National Authority head, Aidar Aganin, during a meeting in the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh is expected to visit Russia in the coming days.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Russia’s interest in mediating peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as to oversee reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Referring to the “Palestinian problem” as the “oldest regional problem”, Lavrov announced “It is impossible to create stability in the Middle East, including in Libya and Iraq, without a solution to the oldest regional problem, the Palestinian problem.”

He added “We support the need for a resumption of direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We confirm again our offer from several years ago to host a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Russia without any preconditions.”

The Palestinian Authority has rejected the Trump Administration’s efforts and cut communications with its diplomats. While President Trump’s peace plan has been kept from the public, it is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Also on Wednesday, Haniyeh sent an official letter to the United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Spinosa condemning the United States’ efforts against Hamas. The United States has been lobbying member states, mainly EU states, to vote in a resolution condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

Both Israel’s Ambassador to the ‎UN, Danny Danon, and US Ambassador Nikki Haley submitted the draft resolution which is expected to be brought to a vote in the coming days. The resolution calls on the UN to condemn the terror organization’s ongoing rocket attacks and for the implementation of a permanent ceasefire.



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