The Iranian deputy foreign minister is also in Russia
Hamas representatives visit Moscow. This was confirmed by the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zacharova, during a briefing with journalists. “As regards contacts, we will inform you later,” she added, quoted by Ria Novosti, without providing other details. Previously a source from the Palestinian delegation told the Russian news agency that the delegation is led by Abu Marzuk, a senior member of Hamas.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani is in Moscow where he will meet Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin. This was announced by the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zacharova, quoted by Interfax. Zacharova provided no other details about the visit. Interfax reports the news together with confirmation of the presence of a Hamas delegation in Moscow. Iran supplies drones to Russia for the war in Ukraine and supports Hamas in its attack against Israel.
A spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeida, said that approximately 50 hostages, captured on October 7, died following the Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip. The BBC reports this, underlining that it cannot verify this data independently. Israeli authorities have identified 224 people kidnapped during the Hamas onslaught and held hostage in Gaza. Among them there are also very young children and elderly people. “It is important not to forget the humanitarian objective of the release of the hostages”, said the Israeli ambassador Alon Bar in the morning, “we want to see a strong and unconditional condemnation of Hamas, without ifs or buts, a clear condemnation, a request strong support for the immediate release of the hostages, strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Biden-Netanyahu phone call
There was a new telephone conversation in the last few hours between Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu. An exchange focused on “developments in Gaza” and “efforts to locate and secure the release” of hundreds of hostages, held by Hamas in the Strip since the terrible October 7 attack in Israel. At the center of the conversation, the White House said, were also “ongoing talks to guarantee safe passage for foreign citizens” who are in the Palestinian enclave and who want to leave the area.
Biden spoke of “US support for the continuous flow of humanitarian aid for the civilian population” of the Strip, which has been targeted by Israeli operations since 7 October. The American president “welcomed the efforts to increase this support in the coming period”. And he reiterated that “Israel has every right and responsibility to defend its citizens from terrorism and to do so in line with international humanitarian law”, insisting on the importance that “after this crisis” the conditions for peace are created long-lasting. Hamas, the White House reiterated, “represents neither the Palestinians nor their aspirations”.