Hamas Asks Russia to Help Stop Israeli ‘Aggression’*
The Palestinian Islamic Movement Hamas on Saturday called for Russian intervention to stop Israeli “aggression” against Palestinians, a request that comes after weeks of violence in the West Bank during which Israeli security forces have killed dozens of Palestinians and injured hundreds more.
According to a statement on the group’s website, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal spoke with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Saturday evening.
Meshal told Bogdanov that the continuing Israeli occupation and atrocities committed by the Israeli army and Jewish settlers against the Palestinian people were behind the “explosion” of anger and the “uprising” by the Palestinians.
The leader of Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group currently running affairs in the Gaza Strip, asked Russia to use its global influence as a world power in order to demand Israel stop the aggression against “our people and our holy sites.”
According to the statement, Bogdanov expressed discontent over what is happening and promised that Moscow would do its best.
That statement comes amid increasingly warm ties between Israel and Russia. The two countries recently conducted a joint training session in order to avoid potential conflicts over Russia’s intervention in Syria, which Israel supports.
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a sermon at the al-Katiba Mosque in Gaza on Saturday that “the intifada has begun and we don’t know when it will end.”
“The intifada has brought the Palestinian issue back to the centre of attention,” he asserted.
Earlier on Saturday, three more shootings took place in the West Bank city of Hebron, where about 500 Jewish settlers live in a heavily guarded enclave in the city centre. They are surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.
In the first Hebron incident, a Palestinian tried to stab a settler before his intended victim, who was unharmed, shot him dead, according to the Israeli army. Witnesses, however, disputed that account.
A video, released by Youth Against Settlements coalition, showed a young man wearing a Jewish kippa, or cap, brandishing a pistol as shots rang out before Israeli soldiers moved in to pull him away from a body lying on the ground. The Electronic Intifada reported that at the 12 second-mark of the video, a soldier gives an object to another soldier, who appears to place it near the body.