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Top diplomat: Russia using stance on Palestinians to retaliate over our position on Ukraine

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,  shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during their meeting at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Bethlehem, January 23, 2020. (Alexander Nemenov, Pool via AP)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during their meeting at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Bethlehem, January 23, 2020. (Alexander Nemenov, Pool via AP)

A senior Israeli diplomatic official claims Russia is staking out a position on the recent unrest in Jerusalem that is very critical of Israel as a way to retaliate for the latter’s stance in favor of Ukraine.

“Russia is not happy about our position on Ukraine so it is coming out against us on the Palestinian front,” the official says in a briefing with Israeli reporters.

The official then clarifies that the Russian stance on the Palestinians is actually rather consistent with its principles over the years, but he notes that the Kremlin’s readout from President Vladimir Putin’s call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week did not include a condemnation of Israeli actions on the Temple Mount as Ramallah had expected.

“We didn’t think the Russians would be satisfied with our position on Ukraine. We’re also not satisfied with their attack on a sovereign nation,” the official says, adding that Israel will continue its policy on Ukraine that seeks to balance the need to align with the Western world with security interests in Syria where Israel has long enjoyed a green-light from Moscow to attack Iranian proxies from Russia-controlled airspace.

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