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Russia Seeks to Unify Palestinian Factions, Including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, at Forthcoming Moscow Parley

Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov with Hamas leaders Moussa Abu Marzouk (r) and Bassem Naim (l) in Moscow. Photo: Reuters/Handout

Russia will seek to unify the various Palestinian factions at a special meeting in Moscow next week, one of Moscow’s top diplomats confirmed on Monday.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, told pro-regime media outlets that “all Palestinian representatives who are located in different countries, in particular in Syria and Lebanon, other countries in the region,” had received invitations to the meeting in Moscow, which convenes on Feb 26. At the same time, Bogdanov stressed that President Vladimir Putin’s regime continues to regard the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — the main power in the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) — as “the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people.”

The invitation has been extended to up to 14 Palestinian factions, according to Russian media sources, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of whom are sworn to Israel’s violent elimination.

Bogdanov’s statement came as the PA’s Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, urged Hamas to attend the talks in Moscow.

“We are ready to engage. If Hamas is not then that’s a different story. We need Palestinian unity,” Syhtayyeh declared in remarks at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. Asked about the desirability of unifying with an organization designated as a terrorist group by the US, EU and other democracies, which is responsible for the atrocities carried out in southern Israel on Oct, 7, Shytayyeh dismissively responded, “One should not continue focusing on October 7.”

Since the Hamas pogrom, Russia has attempted to bolster its influence among the various Palestinian groups. On Oct. 26, it hosted a Hamas delegation led by Musa Abu Marzouk, a member of its politburo who received the status of “Specially Designated Terrorist” from the US Treasury Department in 1995.

More recently, Russia has criticized the decision of a slew of western governments to suspend aid to UNRWA, the UN refugee agency exclusively dedicated to the Palestinians, on the grounds that several of its employees had colluded with Hamas.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the decision as “collective punishment” while Putin himself spoke of the world’s “sacred duty” to aid Palestinians in Gaza at a recent press conference.

Russia’s latest intervention in the conflict between Hamas and Israel has been overshadowed by western fury over the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Saturday while in custody at a penal colony in Kharp, a remote region close to the Arctic circle.

On Monday, Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, expressly accused Putin of orchestrating her husband’s assassination, promising to release further details soon. Separately, the US is considering additional sanctions against Russia over Navalny, whose body has not yet been released, while the EU declared that it would “spare no efforts to hold Russia’s political leadership and authorities to account, in close coordination with our partners; and impose further costs for their actions, including through sanctions.”

 

The post Russia Seeks to Unify Palestinian Factions, Including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, at Forthcoming Moscow Parley first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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