World Jewish News
Russian FM Lavrov meeting with Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala (photo credit: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY)
Middle East Israel protests Russian FM Lavrov’s meeting with Islamic Jihad leader
12.03.2020, Israel and the World
Israel registered an official protest with Moscow on Thursday after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Palestinian Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah.
PIJ is a “terrorist organization supported by Iran that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and systematically undermines arrangements in the Gaza Strip by attacking Israeli civilians,” Israeli interim Ambassador to Russia Eli Belotserkovsky told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who also met with Nakhalah Wednesday night.
The Russian Foreign Ministry website said the meeting between Lavrov and Nakhalah focused mostly on the West Bank and Gaza and “the task of speedy restoration of Palestinian national unity on the political platform of the Palestinian Liberation Organization as a necessary condition for establishing sustainable direct negotiations with Israel.”
Russia “reaffirmed its firm commitment to the two-state principle” based on UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Embassy to Israel tweeted photos of the meeting, including one in which the Lavrov and Nakhalah are shown shaking hands and others from the delegations sitting around a table. It deleted the tweet soon after.
Asked about the deletion, the embassy’s spokesman said: “This topic concerns the Russian Representative Office in Ramallah, and they have their own Twitter account.”
Nakhalah, 66, spends most of his time moving between Lebanon and Syria and has “excellent and strong” relations with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, the spokesman said.
By LAHAV HARKOV