Hamas chief thanks Russian FM for ‘support of Palestinian rights at Al-Aqsa’

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh holds a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on security developments in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, his office says.

According to the Palestinian Shehab news agency, Haniyeh expresses appreciation for Moscow’s support of Palestinian rights at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The head of the terror group accuses Israel of preventing worshipers from reaching the Jerusalem holy site, assaulting and arresting worshipers and vandalizing property.

Meanwhile, Shehab reports, Lavrov says Russia has “always been on the side of the Palestinian people in their right to self-determination and their right to establish their Palestinian state.”

He denounces what he calls Israel’s excessive force against civilians in the capital.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with foreign reporters at al-Mat’haf hotel in Gaza City, on June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/ Adel Hana)

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