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Israel protests Russia’s hosting Islamic Jihad

Israel lodged an official protest after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosted a delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in Moscow.

The Israeli TV Channel 13 quoted a high-ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry as saying that the Israeli interim Ambassador to Russia Eli Belotserkovsky has visited the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and registered Tel Aviv’s protest over the movement’s visit.

The Israeli diplomat is said to have told Bogdanov that the “Islamic Jihad is a terrorist organisation, backed by Iran that does not recognise Israel’s right to exist and systematically undermines arrangements in the Gaza Strip by attacking Israeli civilians.”

In a statement Islamic Jihad announced that a senior delegation headed by the movement’s Secretary General Ziad Al-Nakhalah arrived on Wednesday in Moscow and met with Russian officials including Foreign Minister Lavrov.

The movement added that the delegation also included Muhammad Al-Hindi, Abdel Aziz Al-Minnawi and the movement’s representative in Lebanon, Ihsan Ataya, adding that the visit came “in response to an official invitation extended by the Russian foreign ministry”.

A delegation from Hamas movement, headed by its political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh, visited Moscow on 2 March and held talks with Russian officials, including Lavrov.

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