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Russian prosecutor refuses to designate Hamas as ‘terrorists’ – media

Officials reportedly explained that there is no legal basis for such a designation

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has refused to designate Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organization, according to the Mash Telegram. Officials had been asked to take measures against the movement due to its actions in Israel.

According to Mash, the Prosecutor General’s Office explained its decision by noting that there has never been a criminal case launched on Russian territory against any member of Hamas.

“This means that it would be wrong to recognize the Palestinian movement as terrorist,” officials reportedly told the Telegram channel.


The response came after Ivan Melnikov, vice president of the Russian branch or the International Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, sent a formal appeal to Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, demanding that Hamas be designated as a terrorist organization. Melnikov cited the killing of “at least 900 civilians” by Hamas, including Russians, and the taking of large numbers of hostages of all ages.

Despite not officially designating Hamas as a terrorist movement, Russia has condemned the militant group’s October 7 attack on Israel, which left some 1,400 Israelis dead. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “terrorist attack.” 

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Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia
Israel’s Gaza operations not ‘self-defense’ – Moscow

At the same time, Moscow has been critical of Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza, which have so far killed some 9,000 people, according to Palestinian officials.

Last week, Putin stressed that the “horrible events currently unfolding in Gaza… cannot be justified by anything,” while arguing that Israel’s actions in the Palestinian enclave are enflaming the conflict. 

Moscow has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza and has emphasized the importance of maintaining contact with both sides in the hope of finding a fair and peaceful solution to the decades-long issue.

Putin is also among those to have consistently backed a two-state solution based on the decisions of the UN Security Council.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, has stressed that instability in the region cannot be resolved “without the creation of a Palestinian state through negotiations.” Until then, there will always be a threat to Israel, he added.

November 03, 2023 at 09:41PM

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