Russia calls on Hamas to release hostages during Moscow talks

Russia calls on Hamas to release hostages during Moscow talks

Russian diplomacy called on Hamas to release all its hostages at talks in Moscow on Friday but judged the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the target of massive Israeli bombings, to be of “catastrophic proportions”.

• Also read: Gaza: Almost 20,000 babies have been born “in hell” since the war began

• Also read: Nearly 80 dead in Israeli raids in Gaza, shootings and attacks in Khan Younes

“The Russian side insisted on the need to quickly release civilians captured during the October 7, 2023 attacks and held by Palestinian factions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said after a meeting between Russian Deputy Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Moussa Abou Marzouk, member of Hamas's political bureau.

These talks served in particular to “clarify (Hamas's) position and its policy on the issue of hostages,” according to a press release from the Palestinian Islamist movement issued after the meeting.

“The means of achieving a ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip were also discussed, according to Hamas, which said it had received support from Russia “on the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Mr. Bogdanov also met with Israeli Ambassador to Russia Simona Halperin in Moscow on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

He informed the ambassador “of the targeted efforts of Russian diplomacy for the immediate and unconditional release of civilians detained in the Gaza Strip, including Russians.”

The Russian diplomat also recalled Moscow's “steady principled position in favor of a comprehensive solution in the Middle East based on the relevant decisions of the United Nations and its Security Council,” the press release said.

The war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has resulted in the deaths of 24,762 people, most of them women and children, according to the report released Friday by the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The trigger was the bloody attacks by Islamist Hamas commandos in southern Israel on October 7, in which around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, were killed, according to a data-based AFP count. Israeli officials.