03:35 GMT30 September 2020
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    Benjamin Netanyahu said he asked Vladimir Putin to assist Israel in rescuing two Israeli civilians held by the Palestinian Hamas organization and the bodies of two soldiers.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to assist Israel in rescuing two Israeli civilians held by the Palestinian Hamas organization and the bodies of two soldiers, to which Putin agreed.

    "I raised the issue, as I do elsewhere in the world, of [bodies of] Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin and, of course, the two Israeli civilians being held by Hamas. I asked for the Russian President's humanitarian assistance and he promised to give it," Netanyahu said, as quoted on his Facebook page, after a meeting held earlier in the day.

    Israel believes that the two civilians and the remains of Shaul and Goldin are in Gaza Strip and held by the Hamas movement, which hopes to exchange them for Palestinians detained in Israel.

    Shaul and Goldin died in Gaza, in the course of a military operation launched by Israel in July 2014.

    In November 2016, Netanyahu addressed the same request to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who also promised Russia's help in this matter.

    The relations between Israel and Palestine have been fraught with difficulties for decades. The Palestinians are seeking to create their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, partially controlled by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. However, Israel refuses to recognize Palestine's independence.

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    Vladimir Putin, Russia, Israel
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