RealNews

Israel softens criticism of Russia on Hamas talks

Israel backed off its harsh criticism of Russia on Tuesday ahead of Moscow’s talks with leaders of Hamas following the Islamist militant group’s victory in Palestinian elections. Israel’s interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met top officials to review policy toward Russia after it invited Hamas for March 3 talks which are to take place at a higher level than expected, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov quoted by Russian news agencies as saying he will personally take part. Russia’s move challenged Israel’s U.S.-backed efforts to isolate Hamas unless it recognizes the Jewish state, but Olmert toned down Israel’s earlier criticism of Moscow over the talks. Full Story

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