Moussa Abu Marzouq, Deputy Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, currently visiting Moscow, confirmed that the Palestinian movement is actively working to locate eight hostages of dual Russian and Israeli nationality, to secure their release.
According to Abu Marzouq, as reported by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, “We are currently searching for the individuals mentioned by the Russian side. It’s a challenging task, but we are actively pursuing it, and we will release them once we locate them.” He further disclosed that the Russian Foreign Ministry had provided Hamas with a list containing the names of eight Russian-Israeli individuals detained in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Marzouq expressed strong interest in the list, emphasizing the great care with which they are treating this matter, given the close and amicable relationship between Hamas and Russia.
This visit to Moscow, which commenced on Thursday, marks Abu Marzouq’s first since the eruption of the conflict between Israel and Hamas three weeks ago. These discussions have primarily focused on the release of hostages and the evacuation of Russian citizens from the conflict zone.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that there had been no substantial progress in securing the release of Russian hostages detained by Hamas, and even admitted to not knowing the exact number of detainees.
Apart from the detainees, hundreds of Russian citizens reside in the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to intense Israeli bombardment.
In contrast to the United States, Russia does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization and has maintained diplomatic relations with the Palestinian movement.
Moscow has condemned attacks on Israeli civilians that occurred on October 7 but simultaneously stressed the urgency of establishing a Palestinian state to resolve the conflict. It has also cautioned Israel against the repercussions of indiscriminate and prolonged retaliation.