Israel voiced a protest to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for welcoming a delegation of Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement in Moscow. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization and its activities in the country are banned. Minister of Environment and Affairs of Jerusalem Zeev Elkin expressed the protest during a meeting with Russian FM Lavrov in Moscow, the Haaretz newspaper wrote.
According to the Israeli official, Salah al-Aruri, known as one of Hamas militant leaders, was among the members of the Hamas delegation in Moscow. The Israeli minister claimed that Salah al-Aruri receives money from Hamas and should be held accountable for organizing terrorist attacks in Judea and Somalia. According to Elkin, Salah al-Aruri is one of the masterminds of the abduction of three Israeli teenagers, who were brutally murdered. Moscow's decision to welcome such a person is a big mistake of the Russian authorities, Elkin concluded.
According to Elkin, the Russian Foreign Minister was surprised and promised to find out how Al-Aruri received a Russian visa. The Hamas delegation arrived in Moscow from Cairo last week.
Hamas has been recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, Canada, the United States and Japan. The movement is banned in Jordan and Egypt. The Russian authorities do not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization, nor do they interfere with its activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. Russian President Putin refrains from public and personal contacts with Hamas representatives.
The Federation Council may gather for the meeting on October 4 to consider new laws on the accession of new territories to Russia after the referenda