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    Russia, Israel, Hamas & ISIL: Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle

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    Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Thursday, Israeli political analyst Avigdor Eskin attempted to explain Israel's motivations in the war against ISIL.

    Commenting on Hamas's role in the war, Eskin recalled that Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, adding that "the Muslim Brotherhood is, in a sense, partially ISIS," with some of their members "turning to ISIS: It happened in Iraq, it happened in Syria, when certain significant numbers of their people decided to become more radical."

    "In the case of Hamas, as you know, this organization was aided largely by Syria and Iran up until a couple of years ago, and their military headquarters were sustained in Damascus…And what they did when the civil war started was to turn their weapons against the government of Syria. Therefore the government of Syria –Assad and Iran today are very unhappy with Hamas –they fight Hamas. And Hamas people in Syria joined ISIS. Therefore, today we cannot separate Hamas from ISIS."

    As far as Israel's position toward ISIL is concerned, Eskin noted that "Israel is definitely threatened by ISIS, and has helped Yazidis and the Kurds in Iraq since the beginning of the fighting there. Israel was the first to assist them in their fight against ISIS. Thus, Israel has been fighting ISIS in indirect ways since shortly after ISIS came into existence."

    Citing the recent arrests of ISIL-affiliated would-be terrorists in Moscow, Eskin emphasized that today, "everybody is threatened by ISIS. As far as Israel is concerned, the one thing I can say is that the country is trying not to interfere in Syrian affairs, since there are still anti-Israeli sentiments in the Arab world…the involvement of Israel could undermine Russian efforts, so Israel just needs to keep quiet about the situation in Syria. Let Russia and President Assad do the job. But on the other hand, Israel is assisting indirectly by helping the Yazidis and the Kurds to destroy ISIS in Iraq."

    The analyst noted that "one thing is clear: terrorism is terrorism. And it's important that the West will help Russia, President Assad and Israel instead of criticizing, instead of undermining their efforts and spreading information which is not correct."

    Commenting on the assessment that Israel may actually benefit from the existence of ISIL, Eskin suggested that this was a "disturbed way of thinking," adding that "ISIS is a group which wants to destroy Israel, and acts against Israel, and from the very beginning supports the idea that Israel should not exist in the Middle East, so how can anyone be benefiting?"

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