Home » Hamas Said to Tell Moscow It’s Looking for 8 Russians Among Hostages, Will Free Them
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Hamas Said to Tell Moscow It’s Looking for 8 Russians Among Hostages, Will Free Them

Hamas is trying to locate eight Russian-Israeli dual citizens who were taken hostage during the terror group’s assault on Israel in order to free them on Moscow’s request, Russian news agencies reported Saturday.

Russia has good relations with Hamas, which it does not consider to be a terror group, and has begun a diplomatic effort to try to free hostages held in Gaza.

“From the Russian side, via the foreign ministry, we received a list of citizens that have dual citizenship,” Musa Abu Marzouk, head of the terror group’s international relations office, was cited as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

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“We are looking for those people… It is hard but we are looking. And when we find them, we will let them go.”

“We are very attentive to this list and will process it carefully because we consider Russia to be a closest friend,” he said.

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During its shock terror assault on Israel on October 7, Hamas terrorists killed over 1,400 people, a majority of them civilians, during raids on over 20 border communities near the Gaza Strip, slaughtering entire families in their homes and some 260 at an outdoor music festival. Terrorists also took over 230 hostages, including women, children and elderly people, dragging them into the Gaza Strip where they remain captive.

Families and friends of Israelis held hostage in Gaza hold a rally outside the Tel Aviv Art Museum on October 26, 2023. (Gili Yaari /Flash90)

Hamas has previously said that it does not know where all the captives are and that some are being held by other terror groups.

Israel believes that Hamas is trying to draw out the hostage saga to prevent an Israeli ground incursion and has dismissed other Hamas promises to free certain captives as an attempt at psychological warfare against the families of the hostages as well as the general population.

Hamas has released four hostages since its October 7 terror massacre, including an American-Israeli mother and daughter, and two elderly Israeli women, in a deal brokered by Qatar, which hosts both a US military base and Hamas’s political bureau.

Israel has publicly insisted that all the hostages must be released unconditionally and has rejected efforts to separate those who also hold foreign citizenship from the rest of the captives.

The promises regarding the Russian citizens came after Hamas representatives arrived in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the ongoing war with Israel with Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, in a meeting that was also attended by Ali Bagheri Kani, the deputy foreign minister of the terror group’s chief sponsor, Iran.

The Hamas delegation was led by Abu Marzouk and also included Basem Naim, the former Hamas health minister in Gaza, and the organization’s representative in Moscow, a Hamas statement said.

The stated goal of the visit was to discuss the ongoing war with Israel and ways to stop “Zionist crimes supported by the United States and the West.”

The Hamas delegation also praised the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the efforts of Russian diplomacy.

Bogdanov, who is also Putin’s special envoy to the Middle East, reportedly expressed Russia’s support for the rights of the Palestinian people, and spoke of his country’s efforts to achieve a ceasefire and open humanitarian corridors in Gaza.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry scolded Russia for hosting representatives of the terror group, as Jerusalem’s public frustration with Russia grew. “Hamas is a terrorist organization worse than ISIS,” ministry spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted.

“Israel sees the invitation of senior Hamas officials to Moscow as an obscene step that gives support to terrorism and legitimizes the atrocities of Hamas terrorists,” the Foreign Ministry said, and called on Moscow to immediately expel the Hamas leaders.

“The hands of senior Hamas officials are stained with the blood of over 1,400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned, and they are responsible for the kidnapping of over 220 Israelis including babies, children, women and the elderly,” it added.

Source : The Times of Israel