Russia to remain chummy with Hamas

Friday, June 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Russia signaled on Thursday that it will not join the rest of the international community in condemning Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip and further isolating the Islamic terrorist organization.

“If there is any solution to the conflict at all, it is in a dialogue between the two leading Palestinian forces,” Oleg Ozerov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Middle East department, told reporters.

Ozerov criticized the decision by the United States and some European nations to support, finance and arm Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction against Hamas.

Moscow is making a regular habit of defying the international community vis-à-vis Hamas. Following the terror group's landslide electoral victory in 2006, its leaders were quickly invited for a state visit to the Russian capital, just as Western powers to trying to isolate the new heads of the Palestinian Authority.

Since its win at the ballot box, Hamas has refused to renounce its goal of destroying the Jewish state, which has led to crushing economic sanctions.

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