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Putin calls Netanyahu for the first time since Hamas attack

by Martin Fornusek October 16, 2023 11:53 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) attend their meeting at Netanyahu's office on Jan. 23, 2020 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas War, the Times of Israel reported on Oct. 16, citing Netanyahu's office.

According to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Putin "strongly rejected and condemned" any violence against civilians and claimed that Moscow is ready to work toward ending the Gaza conflict.

The Kremlin said that Putin also spoke earlier with other Middle Eastern leaders, namely with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian President Fattah el-Sissi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Oct. 16, the Israeli media reported that Tel Aviv had rejected a request by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to make a solidarity visit to Israel, saying that the "time is not right." However, Ukraine's president held a phone call with Netanyahu shortly after the outbreak of the hostilities on Oct. 8.

While Ukraine has expressed full solidarity with Israel in the wake of Hamas' attack on Oct. 7, Putin has been critical of Israel's conduct in the conflict, even drawing up comparisons between the Israeli army and the military of Nazi Germany.

The Kremlin leader's criticism of civilian causalities in the Gaza war stands in contrast with the violence unleashed by Moscow against Ukraine in the full-scale invasion, which has already cost thousands of military and civilian lives.

Israel’s reluctance to choose sides strains relations with Ukraine
While most developed countries have been providing military aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its all-out war, one country has remained sitting conspicuously on the fence – Israel. Since February 2022, Israel – a country with a strong military and some of the best air defense technologies – hasn…
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