Alwaght- While the Israeli leaders are clinging to any trick to tighten the noose on the Palestinian resistance groups and sideline them regionally and internationally, the latter are enhancing their influence day by day and strengthening their foreign communications fast. Hamas movement, a thorn in the Israeli side, in recent days intensified its diplomatic activities, rendering the Israelis concerned.
A high-level delegation of Hamas leadership visited Russia on Sunday. The trip of Ismail Haniyeh and the Hamas delegation to Moscow took place at the invitation of the Russian foreign ministry, and the Palestinian delegation met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and a number of other officials. Haniyeh's media advisor, Tahir al-Nunu, said that Hamas's trip to Moscow will last for several days, and its purpose is to examine the prospects of bilateral relations for the benefit of the Palestinian cause. Also, according to this Palestinian official, visit to Moscow took place in sensitive regional and international conditions, and the international and regional developments and their effects on the Palestinian issue are to be discussed. This is the second visit of Hamas leaders to Moscow in a year, and shows that the Kremlin leaders have become very active in the Palestinian conflict.
The invitation to Hamas to visit Moscow comes while peace process with the Israeli regime, which was pursued for a long time by the US and its Arab allies, has lost its importance among the Palestinians, and other actors have stepped in to push the developments in Palestine in another direction.
Russia's successive invitations of Hamas leaders are a great diplomatic achievement for this movement, and given the developments that have taken place on the stage, it can bring great benefits to both sides.
The trend of developments in the occupied territories in recent months shows that the group that is currently playing a major role in the Palestinian cause is Hamas, and that is why the world's attention has been given to this movement. Until now, all countries have invited the Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority for visits to discuss the developments, but with the growing importance of Gaza resistance role in recent years, Palestinians, even those of the West Bank, are setting their hope to Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza for liberation from the decades-long Israeli occupation.
Therefore, the invitation of Hamas by Russia and some other actors somehow enhances the international status of this movement, and this global support can also be effective in advancing Gaza's resistance plans against the Israeli occupation. Because the Israeli government only recognizes the Palestinian Authority and is willing to discuss bilateral issues with it and expects other countries to follow suit. But giving legitimacy to Hamas and other resistance groups is a threat to Tel Aviv’s interests in the region and the world. Therefore, the visits of Hamas leaders to Moscow mark a turning point in the history of relations between the two sides, and with the support of the world powers for the Palestinian cause, the way for the implementation of the Israeli plans in Palestine and the region will be blocked.
Worrisome Moscow signals to Tel Aviv
Aside from Hamas goals behind closeness to Russia, Moscow seeks its own goals behind these visits, apparently not disconnected from the recent world developments. Until now, Russia has not played an important role in the Palestinian developments and only tried to engage as a mediator in the so-called peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis if necessary, but it has recently become an active player in the Palestinian developments.
Tel Aviv has stood by Kiev firmly in the Ukraine crisis and helped it. For this reason, the relations between Moscow and Tel Aviv have grown frayed. Moscow's backing to the inter-Palestinian reconciliation will certainly deal a hard blow to the Israeli agenda.
In the past years, when tensions and conflict with the Palestinian groups ran high, the Israelis tried to send messages to the Palestinian side via Russia and prevent the escalation of conflicts. But now that Russia and the Israeli regime are experiencing tense ties, the invitation to Hamas is a kind of signal to the Israelis that if they set up roadblocks ahead of the Russians in the Ukraine, Moscow has many options it can use to jeopardize Israeli interests. By inviting the leaders of Hamas, Russia sends this message to the Israelis that it is cozying up to their archenemy in Palestine.
In recent months, the Israeli leaders have accused Russia of sending weapons to the Gaza-based groups, and expressed extreme worry. Their concerns followed Hamas announcement that it had used Russian-made Strela-2 shoulder-fired missiles against Israeli warplanes. The announcement came at a time when the Russians said that they have information that shows Israeli mercenaries are fighting against the Russians alongside the Ukrainian army, and this issue angered the Kremlin officials and strained their relations. Amid chilly Israeli-Russian ties, it is not unthinkable that Russia will equip Hamas and other Palestinian groups with modern weapons in the future. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been able to achieve many victories against their Israeli enemy by making their home weapons in Gaza with the least equipment, and if these groups are equipped with advanced Russian weapons, the losses of the Israeli army will be far greater than before.
With Turkey as one of Hamas backers is walking the path of normalization with Israeli regime, and Qatar, another backer, has scaled down its supports to the movement, Russia can fill the vacuum and play an important role in the Palestinian developments. Additionally, Moscow's support to Palestinian groups will bring other branches of Axis of Resistance —a regional bloc led by Iran and including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine— to closeness to Russia. Yemen's Ansarullah Movement has already taken this path and a strategic alliance, which will be vital to the Russians, is expected to take shape with Russia in the region. So far, Russia has only been active in Syria but active role in Yemen, Palestine, and Lebanon will assist Russian agenda against the US in West Asia.
Russia Muslim world position boost
As the Palestinian cause and liberation being of great priority to the Muslims, Russia is supporting the Palestinian struggle to improve its position among the Islamic nations and win their support for its agenda. With boost of relationship with West Asian nations being of great significance in its new foreign policy doctrine, Russia engages in the Palestinian cause for the good of its foreign policy goals.
The support to the Palestinians is a type of confrontation with the West, and particularly the US that backs the Israeli crimes in full force. Thus, strengthening relations with Hamas can somehow be part of a plan for a new coalition to force back American influence in the region and provide an opportunity to strike the hegemony of Washington and its policy of unilateralism in the world and restore the global multipolar system. This is the same policy that the Russian leaders have been following in recent months.