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'Hamas seeks to be an alternative.' Mofaz Photo: Ori Porat
'Hamas seeks to be an alternative.' Mofaz Photo: Ori Porat
 
 

Mofaz asks Russia to reconsider Hamas invitation

Defense Minister chastises Russian counterpart for breaking international solidarity against Hamas, and for granting aid to Syria

Ronny Sofer
Published: 02.12.06, 08:51 / Israel News

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Ivanov on Saturday during a meeting of NATO defense minister in Sicily, and asked him to reassess Russia's invitation to Hamas to visit Moscow.

 

Ivanov replied by saying that the "the invitation has not yet been made official, but one can't ignore that Hamas is in power and the whole world will talk to them."

 

In the course of the meeting, Mofaz was invited by Ivanov to Moscow during a date to be agreed on by both sides. Ivanov also said that Russia's chief of staff was expected to visit Israel shortly.

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During the meeting it was also revealed that Russia will delay the transfer of 50 armored vehicles to the Palestinians Authority until it becomes clear whether or not Hamas will control the PA's security forces.

 

In the course of the meeting, Mofaz explained at length Israel's policies towards Hamas, and spoke of Moscow's aid to Syria, as well as the Iranian nuclear threat.

 

'Moscow broke international solidarity'

 

"Moscow's invitation created a break in the international unity against Hamas and terrorism," Mofaz told Ivanov.

 

"Hamas seeks to be an alternative and create an active terrorist entity. We are currently in a critical stage, in which stances questions such as the appointing of a prime minister to the Palestinian Authority hang in the balance. Every support from the world, such as Moscow's invitation to Hamas, could influence these critical maneuvers in the PA," said the defense minister.

 

"I am personally willing to come to Moscow and present every explanation necessary to make it clear how dangerous the Hamas and what kind terror organization," Mofaz added. "You suffer from the Chechen threat. We have Hamas and the Hizbullah. And the whole world has al-Qaeda. Let's continue to deepen cooperation between our security forces to stop global terrorism. Russia is a country fighting terror and it is cooperating with us in this field. It's not logical for you to invite Hamas," Mofaz said.

 

Hypocrisy

 

"It's not acceptable for Russia to call for international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism on the one hand and at the same time to open a gate to an organization like Hamas, while the entire international community supports the policy and conditions presented by Israel. Hamas is a terrorist organization in parallel with the Chechens' (organizations). Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, it has blood on its hands of many Israelis, it has murdered hundreds of Israelis, and struck thousands of Israelis, leaving bereaved families, and painful wounds," the defense minister told his Russian counterpart.

 

The Russian defense minister replied by saying that Hamas has now been voted into power and that this was a fact. "At the end of the day the whole world will talk with Hamas," said Ivanov.

 

He added that the invitation is not yet official, but added that if Hamas were to be invited to the Russian capital it would only be for Russia to say that it would find a continuation of terrorism and refusal to recognize Israel by Hamas unacceptable.

 

'Russia is helping Hizbullah'

 

Mofaz and Ivanov spoke about the Iranian nuclear armament program, and of Russian aide to Syria, and indirectly, to Hizbullah.

 

"The addition of an extremist anti-Semitic president who presides over a country with long distance ground-ground missile ability and which is dealing with nuclear development, is the exact formula for a strategic threat to Israel," Mofaz said.

 

"Hence, your cooperation with the international community is critical during this time. The transfer of the issue to the international community is not enough. The next important stage is the placing of sanctions against Iran," he added.

 

Mofaz also added that Russia has supplied Syria with weapons systems, some of which has been given to Hizbullah.

 

He cited the kidnapping of IDF soldiers in Rajar, in which IDF forces were shot at with Russian-made RPG rockets, which were recently given to Syria.

 

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