Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Russia to delay delivery of an advanced air defense system to Iran and won a grudging OK to his request. He also discussed with the Russian president several issues related to Hamas. Netanyahu expressed displeasure that Russia engaged in discussions with Hamas leaders, but admitted the reality of that organization’s existence and asked Medvedev to convey from him to Hamas that he was willing to release some Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captured Israeli solider, Gilad Shalit, but would not agree to the large number demanded by Palestinians.
It appears Russian leaders are aware of the growing crisis between Iran and Western nations so they have decided to hold back on a total commitment to Iran. They also discussed an upcoming meeting between Medvedev and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The Israel leader made clear he would not agree to preconditions in any discussion with Abbas. “Why must we pay for the right to sit with somebody?” Good question. Perhaps, Netanyahu can explain why Palestinian leaders have been told there will be no discussion about refugees who left Palestine in 1948. Is that an example of, “preconditions?”