Russia, Hamas Make Plans to Meet


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov invited Qatar-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to visit Moscow in the near future for further discussions on the stalemated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Lavrov extended the invitation, which Meshaal accepted, during a visit to Doha on Monday.

According to Russia's TASS news agency, Russia would like to see "all" Palestinians have a permanent home. That's a veiled reference to an estimated 600,000 Arabs who left Israel during the 1948 War of Independence and an estimated 5 million of their descendants who settled in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and in neighboring countries, where they were never permitted to establish residency.

One of the Palestinian Authority's demands is that Israel accept the "right of return" for these so-called Palestinian "refugees."

Meshaal reportedly told Lavrov that "with assistance from Russia and the whole world," the dream of a Palestinian state (replacing the Jewish state) will be realized.

Meanwhile in Doha, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiya told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "the Middle East is suffering from the failures of the peace process due to the Israeli occupation."

He cited Israel's "illegal blockade" of the Gaza Strip" and asked the Obama administration to press Israel to comply.

Qatar has been a loyal supporter of Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which Qatar also supports.

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