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According to a couple of sources, top-level Hamas delegations visited Moscow at the Russian government's invitation in March 2023 and in September 2022. The latter of these sources surmises that Hamas leaders became aware that Russia paid more attention to them in recent years. There was also a similar visit in March 2020, and possibly others. TASS also reports (but somewhat strangely not citing official Russian sources) that there similar visits in May 2022 and in December 2021. The frequency appears to have been lower about a decade ago. A 2015 Reuters piece commenting on a similar visit wrote

Meshaal, who is based in Doha, last traveled to Moscow in 2010, four years after his first official visit to the Russian capital.

I'm curious: what was roughly the frequency of Hamas visits to Moscow during the Trump presidency?

(The reason why I'm asking is that Trump cut aid to Palestinians etc., which would have perhaps given more of an opening to Moscow to exercise more overt influence there. Conversely, it's possible that the frequency of visits increased after the full-scale war in Ukraine started.)

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Hamas leaders began regularly visiting Russia in March of 2006, just weeks after taking power in Gaza. As both powers are allies of the current regime in Iran, it is at minimum an enemy-of-my-enemy situation, and at most, a full alliance.

While there was regular contact during the Trump presidency, Russia tempered their public support for Hamas during that time, balancing their acceptance of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017 with their offers to broker peace between rival Palestinian factions in 2018.

However, their contact has ramped up considerably since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, which began during Biden's presidency. On September 10th, 2022, Russia and Hamas held a major conference in Moscow.

Many experts believe that Russia's interest in fomenting an Israel-Palestinian war at this point is to open a two-front war on the West in hope of making the West tire of war more quickly and coerce the West into brokering peace agreements with both Hamas and Russia.

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    That (long AIJAC) piece does make an interesting point though: Russia even started meeting with the Islamic Jihad: "The first open meeting with PIJ leadership occurred in 2018 in Moscow, less than two months after a Hamas delegation visit." Feb 12 at 16:51
  • @Fizz I have removed the reference to Abbas and replaced it with a September 2022 meeting with Hamas.
    – Carduus
    Feb 12 at 16:52
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    And that wasn't a one off either. Another meeting with the PIJ took place in 2021. The PIJ only gets to meet [deputy FM] Bogdanov rather than [FM] Lavrov though. Feb 12 at 17:27
  • +1 however, "Israel-Palestinian war" is a misnomer - it we take into account the full scale war with Hezbollah in the North of Israel and tye confrontation with the Houthis. Feb 13 at 6:57
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    Also, beware that "The Cradle" is a pro-Iranian website and they seem to host some attack javascript that glitched my (up to date) Chrome. Feb 13 at 7:18

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