US in Contact With Leadership of Hamas Through Qatar, Source Says
12:45 31.10.2023 (Updated: 13:16 31.10.2023)
© AP Photo / Oded BaliltyA man walks past a newly painted graffiti of Joe Biden depicts the U.S. president as a superhero defending Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.
© AP Photo / Oded Balilty
On October 7, the Palestinian organization unexpectedly launched a massive missile attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip, crossed the border, and killed and kidnapped individuals from nearby Israeli communities. With over two million people living in the Gaza Strip, Israel ordered a total blockade of the area in retaliation.
The United States is holding contacts with the leadership of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas through the Qatari government amid the ongoing escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a diplomatic source in Doha told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"The US is in contact with Hamas. It does it through Qatar," the source said, adding no further details.
The information provided by Sputnik's diplomatic source was later confirmed by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On October 7, Israel was subjected to an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip as part of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, announced by the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. The movement's fighters then infiltrated the border areas in southern Israel.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. For several days, the Israeli military took control of all settlements near the Gaza border and began airstrikes against targets, including civilians, in the Strip. Tel Aviv also announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, cutting off the supply of water, food, electricity, medicine and fuel.
The number of victims in the Gaza Strip exceeded 8,500 thousand people, including 3,400 children, while more than 17,000 people were injured. In Israel, according to local authorities, more than 1,400 people were killed. The IDF said Tuesday that Hamas may have about 240 Israelis in captivity.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on both sides to cease hostilities. According to the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the settlement of the Middle East crisis is possible only on the basis of the "two-state" formula approved by the UN Security Council, which provides for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict over the territorial interests of the parties has been a source of tension and hostility in the region for many decades. The UN resolution of 1947, with the active participation of the USSR, called for the creation of two states - Israel and Palestine - but only the Israeli state was created.