On Wednesday, February 28, delegations from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) arrived in Moscow for negotiations aimed at discussing the creation of a "national government."

As previously reported, the "inter-Palestinian meeting" is expected to last several days with the goal, as stated by the Russian Foreign Ministry, of "overcoming internal divisions."

The previous "inter-Palestinian meeting," initiated by the Russian Foreign Ministry, occurred in February 2019.

It was anticipated that a "Moscow Declaration" would be adopted to address differences among various Palestinian factions.

While there was agreement to oppose the American "deal of the century" and any other threats to the Palestinian cause, Hamas and Islamic Jihad declined to sign the declaration. Fatah subsequently issued an apology to the Russian authorities.

This gathering in Moscow of leading Palestinian factions comes amid nearly five months of conflict triggered by a significant incursion of terrorists from Gaza onto Israeli territory and the resulting deaths of approximately a thousand Israeli civilians and military personnel.

The IDF has been engaged in a military operation in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the deaths of over 12,000 terrorists and tens of thousands of Gaza residents (according to the Hamas Ministry of Health).

International observers have noted extensive destruction in the Gaza Strip, rendering it largely uninhabitable. Nearly all Palestinian factions, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria, are involved in armed confrontations with the Israeli army.

The Hamas delegation in the Moscow negotiations is led by Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy of the Politburo of the organization, while the Fatah delegation is headed by Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the PLO executive committee.

Notably, the Russian authorities do not classify Hamas or Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations.

Moscow maintains regular diplomatic contacts with the leadership of both groups through the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met with Hamas leaders in the past. While current Russian President Vladimir Putin refrains from public personal engagements with Hamas representatives, Khaled Mashal, who chaired the Hamas politburo for several years, visited Moscow on multiple occasions between March 2006 and February 2010.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also held meetings with Mashal in Damascus in March 2008 and May 2009, expressing support for continued relations between Russia and Hamas.

Additionally, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Moscow in March 2020 and again in September 2022. Lavrov previously met with Haniyeh's deputy, Mousa Abu Marzook, on several occasions in Moscow.

In January 2017, Lavrov addressed representatives from Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad as "Dear guests, dear friends."

Following the tragic events of "Black Saturday" on October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists launched an attack on Israeli territory resulting in the deaths of over a thousand people and the kidnapping of hundreds of civilians (including Russian citizens), the Russian Foreign Ministry has hosted numerous Hamas delegations.

Moscow has been credited with securing the release of some Russian citizens who were held captive by terrorists in Gaza.

Many analysts observe that the Russian authorities have benefitted significantly from the ongoing conflict in Israel.

The events in the Middle East not only divert attention from the war in Ukraine but also contribute to the reduction of military aid to Ukraine.