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Putin: Russia is working to free hostages held by Hamas

Russian President Vladimir Putin told leaders of the local Jewish community on Wednesday that Moscow had achieved “specific results” in diplomatic efforts to free hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, Reuters reported, citing Russian news agencies.

The agencies said Putin made the comments at a meeting with Rabbi Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, and the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities, Alexander Boroda. Putin said Russia had made use of its contacts with the political wing of Hamas.

  • “You know, since the situation became more tense in the Middle East, Russia has been doing everything to help people who became hostages,” Putin was quoted as saying.
  • “As is known, our Foreign Ministry worked through the political wing of Hamas and, on the whole, there have been specific results,” he added, without elaborating.

Moscow’s efforts, though directed at helping Russian nationals, also sought to help others, the President said.

  • “They include elderly people and their family members who survived the Holocaust,” he was quoted as saying, adding,
  • “But I know, I understand, that it is vital to carry on with these efforts. And that is what we are doing.”

During the hostage release in late November, Hamas released several hostages with Russian citizenship as a gesture to Putin: Ron Krivoi, who was kidnapped from the Supernova festival in Re’im, as well Irena Tati and her daughter Yelena Trupanob, who were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz and were released as part of the final batch of hostages in the deal. Yelena’s son, Sasha, remains in Hamas captivity.

Source: Arutz Sheva