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Biden needs Putin’s support to resolve Palestine-Israel conflict, says expert

According to Abdel Bari Atwan, the region has changed very much, and the Biden administration needs to understand these changes

CAIRO, June 15. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden will try to get Moscow’s support when it comes to the resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict during the upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of Rai al-Youm, an Arab world digital newspaper, told TASS on Tuesday.

"Naturally, Biden will strive towards using Moscow’s influence in the region. <…> If we are talking about the attempts to resolve [the Palestine-Israel] conflict, we need to consider Russia’s strong positions in the Middle East. Without it, Middle East regulation is impossible. Essentially, the region is going back to the same situation as the one during Soviet times," the expert said.

"Currently, the Biden administration is making changes to American policy regarding Palestine. The previous administration (of Donald Trump - TASS) took steps that had a negative effect on the US and Israel, namely the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem and the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. All this essentially provoked another escalation of the conflict in the region," he stressed.

According to the expert, in the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinian groups, "the Hamas movement [which controls the Gaza Strip], led by Iran, prevailed."

The recent hostilities between Palestine and Israel, as well as the developments in Syria, have completely changed the situation in the Middle East, he noted. "The region has changed very much, and the Biden administration needs to understand these changes, revise the previous policy [of the US] and cooperate with Russia for a new Middle East," Atwan concluded.

Earlier, the Kremlin and the White House announced that the much-awaited summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden would take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. According to the Kremlin, the heads of state will discuss the conditions and prospects for further fostering Russian-US relations, strategic stability matters as well as pressing issues on the international agenda, which include cooperation in fighting the pandemic and regulating regional conflicts. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Biden since the 46th US president took office.

Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalation

On May 21, a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip came into force, following 11 days of missile strikes by both sides.

The escalation was sparked by clashes at Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem in early May, after the Israeli court had ruled to evict Arab families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The Palestinian radicals fired over 4,000 rockets; in response, Israeli air forces bombed hundreds of targets in the enclave. A total of 13 people died in Israel, while 256 were killed in the Gaza Strip, including women and children.

On June 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is ready to host a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the near future to discuss Middle East regulation.