Russia ups its game, hosts Palestine groups meet in Moscow

The Russian strategy is seen as a reaction to the US-led West’s backing for Israel


It is back to the Yasser Arafat days when Palestinian groups felt Russia could be approached to back their cause. In a strong unity bid, the representatives of 14 Palestinian groups, including the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, will meet in Moscow from Thursday to Saturday.

Russia's hosting and facilitating the intra-Palestinian talks is indicative of a positioning that backs the Palestinian cause to the hilt and is aimed at consolidating its influence among the Arab-Islamic nations.

The Russian strategy is seen as a reaction to the US-led West’s backing for Israel. With this move, Russia is underlining its position also as a power that can unify all the various factions of the Palestinians.

Confirming the development, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had told agencies that ‘everything’s ready’ to host the meeting. "Of course, they (Palestinian groups) have agreed… Some want to send two representatives or even more, that is more than we invited. So there are more than enough of those willing." 

"Moscow’s goal is to help the various Palestinian forces agree to unite their ranks politically.”

Bogdanov is also President Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East and Africa.

The 14 Palestinian organisations include representation from many several Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Lebanon. The developments take place in the backdrop of the resignation of Mohammad Shtayyeh, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Shtayyeh had said that the changing Palestinian situation requires "new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the emerging reality in the Gaza Strip, the national unity talks, and the urgent need for an inter-Palestinian consensus based on a national basis, broad participation, unity of ranks, and the extension of the Palestinian Authority’s sovereignty over the entire land of Palestine."

The present conflict began after a Hamas attack on October 7 killed 1,139 people while 250 were abducted. The dead included 695 Israeli civilians including 36 children, 373 security forces and 71 foreigners. The Israeli counterattack, exhibiting no discrimination, has killed more than 29,954 Palestinians till now and wounded about 70,325.

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