Israel admonished Russia for hosting Hamas terrorists in Moscow on Thursday, calling it “an act of support of terrorism.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted: “Hamas is a terror organization that is worse than ISIS. The hands of senior Hamas officials are stained with the blood of over 1,400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned. They are responsible for the kidnapping of over 220 Israelis, including babies, children, women and the elderly.
“Israel condemns the invitation of senior Hamas officials to Moscow, which is an act of support of terrorism and legitimizes the atrocities of Hamas terrorists. We call on the Russian government to expel the Hamas terrorists immediately,” he said.
The meeting was the first high-level international visit since Hamas launched its massacre of Israeli citizens on Oct. 7. Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, led the delegation, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement.
“Contact with him took place in pursuit for the immediate release of foreign hostages held in the Gaza Strip, and issues related to ensuring the evacuation of Russian and other foreign citizens from the territory of the Palestinian enclave were discussed,” the Russian statement said.
Russian news agency TASS also reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov held an earlier meeting in Qatar with Hamas political leaders, discussing the fate of hostages held by the terror group.
Russia and China on Wednesday prevented the U.N. Security Council from passing a U.S.-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas and calling for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza.
The draft resolution was not adopted by the 15-member body because Russia and China as permanent members have veto power. Ten countries voted in favor of the U.S. resolution, with the United Arab Emirates notably voting against it. Brazil and Mozambique abstained.
Security Council resolutions need a minimum of nine yes votes and no vetoes by the five permanent members to pass.
A Russian resolution was also rejected that condemned Hamas but also condemned “indiscriminate attacks” on civilians and civilian objects in Gaza and called for an immediate “humanitarian ceasefire.”
“The prime minister made it clear that Israel had been attacked by brutal and abhorrent murderers, had gone to war determined and united and would not stop until it had destroyed Hamas’s military and governing capabilities,” per a readout from Netanyahu’s office.
Russia’s initial response to the Oct. 7 attack was to side with the Palestinians, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem without condemning the Hamas attack.