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Israeli ambassador in Moscow: Russia is losing the support of Israelis

Newly-appointed ambassador Simona Halperin was interviewed by a Russian newspaper and expressed her disappointment with Russia's official position regarding Middle East and war in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin as they tour the Judaism and Tolerance Museum in Moscow, Russia, Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Israel's new ambassador to Russia, Simona Halperin, was interviewed by the Russian elite business newspaper "Kommersant" and expressed her disappointment with Russia's official position regarding the Middle East and the war in Gaza.

"I think the Russian leadership does not fully understand that since October 7 we are in a new and terrible reality," Halperin said. "Hamas, with the support of Iran, carried out an inhumane attack. Some time passed before Russia publicly condemned the attack, called it an 'act of terrorism' and mentioned Hamas," she added and emphasized: "The Russian position worries and disappoints me – your country is losing the sympathy of Israelis, including Russian speakers."

According to her, "the Russian position at the UN is totally unacceptable to Israel – but I believe in dialogue."

"You have a list of terrorist organizations whose activities in Russia are prohibited," the ambassador said in the interview. "Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood – why isn't it on the list?" she wondered.

When asked if Israel might soon enter the list of "countries unfriendly to Russia," Halperin replied: "Is it possible or not? Why guess? I think that Russia and Israel are interested in Israel continuing to be a friendly country to Russia."

According to her, "Russia has a presence in the Middle East and has interests there, and we are not secondary players in the arena either. As a result, there were contacts, there are contacts and there will be contacts between the countries in the future as well."

In response to a question about Israel’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war, Halperin said: "Our position is known. Israel supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We provide Ukraine with humanitarian aid and have opened a hospital there. This position has not changed since the start of the fighting."

Written by KAN 11 correspondents Alex Nirenberg and Amichai Stein. is the Hebrew news website of the The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation

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