| 13 June 2024, Thursday |

Russia wants to use Israel-Hamas conflict to reduce Western support to Ukraine: ISW

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has reported that Russia is presently exploiting and plans to persistently use the Hamas attacks in Israel as a means to carry out various information operations aimed at diminishing support and focus from the United States and Western countries on Ukraine.
The Washington-based think tank said: “The Kremlin amplified several information operations following Hamas attacks in Israel, primarily blaming the West for neglecting conflicts in the Middle East in favor of supporting Ukraine and claiming the international community will cease to pay attention to Ukraine by portraying attention to the Middle East or alternatively Ukraine as a zero-sum comparison.”

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said on X (formerly Twitter): “Clashes between Hamas and Israel on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War come as an expected development. This is what Washington and its allies should be busy with. The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for decades, with the US the key player in it.”

Medvedev added: “But instead of actively working at Palestinian-Israeli settlement, these morons have interfered with us, and are providing the neo-Nazis with full-scale aid, pitting the two closely related peoples against each other.”
Prominent Russian propagandist Sergei Mardan flatly asserted that Russia will benefit from the outbreak of violence in Israel, as the world “will take its mind off Ukraine for a while and get busy once again putting out the eternal fire in the Middle East,” he wrote on Telegram.

“These Kremlin narratives target Western audiences to drive a wedge in military support for Ukraine, seek to demoralize Ukrainian society by claiming Ukraine will lose international support, and intend to reassure Russian domestic audiences that the international society will ignore Ukraine’s war effort,” ISW said.

Hamas launched an unexpected and unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Saturday. Supported by a barrage of rockets, Hamas militants breached the blockade from Gaza Strip into adjacent Israeli towns. This sudden incursion resulted in numerous casualties and abductions – more than 200 dead and over a 1,000 injured, according to the IDF.

The IDF said Hamas launched more than 3,000 rockets toward Israel, and the group’s militants abducted Israeli civilians and soldiers and have taken them hostage into Gaza.

In response, Israel, taken aback by the assault, initiated airstrikes within Gaza. The Israeli prime minister declared a state of war with Hamas, pledging to impose an unparalleled cost on the militant group for their actions.

  • alarabiya