Hamas welcomes Russia's offer for mediation, praises Putin's position; Hamas, the militant Islamic group that governs Gaza, said in a statement Saturday morning (local time) that it welcomes "Russia's tireless efforts" aimed at stopping Israel's aggression against the territory.
"[We] appreciate Russian President Vladimir Putin's position regarding the ongoing Zionist aggression against our people and his rejection of the Gaza siege, the cutting of relief supplies, and the targeting of safe civilians there," the statement read.
What Putin has said: On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged both sides in the fighting between Israel and Hamas to "minimize or reduce to zero" civilian casualties, and the foreign ministry in Moscow made similar calls for calm on Friday.
His comments come as Russia continues a ruthless war campaign against Ukraine and is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. That case includes, among other things, allegations of targeting civilians.
In addition to Putin's comments, the Russian envoy to the UN circulated a resolution calling for a ceasefire Friday.
Remember: Israel has ordered a “complete siege” on the crowded Gaza strip — including halting supplies of electricity, food, water, and fuel — while also bombarding the densely populated territory in retaliation for Hamas' devastating October 7 terror attacks. At least 1,900 Palestinians have been killed by near-constant shelling in Gaza, according to the health ministry, including journalists, medics and other civilians.
The dead include 614 children and 370 women, says the Palestinian health ministry.