The biggest attack on Israel by Palestinian militants in years was caused by U.S. foreign policy failures, the former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has said, as Russian social-media users celebrated the outbreak of violence.
Medvedev is the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and served as head of state between 2008 and 2012. He linked the U.S. to the actions by those from the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic political party Hamas, who entered Israeli towns and fired rockets from the Gaza Strip it controls to the west of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is “at war” and vowed that Hamas will “pay a price it has never known”, amid reports that at least 20 people have been killed, the border fence has been breached and Israelis taken hostage. Newsweek has as yet not verified these figures.
Medvedev has regularly posted anti-Western and anti-U.S. invective, mostly regarding the West’s support for Kyiv in the war that Moscow started. However, on Saturday, he turned to the wider geopolitical issue of the U.S. role in the Middle East. Medvedev wrote on Telegram that the outbreak of clashes “is an event that could have been expected.”
“The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for decades. And the U.S. is a key player there,” he wrote.
“Instead of actively working on a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, these idiots have crept into our country and are helping neo-Nazis with all their might, pitting two close peoples against each other,” Medvedev said.
This repeats Kremlin rhetoric that part of its justification of the war in Ukraine was to “denazify” its neighbor, a reason widely dismissed by the global community.
“What can stop America’s obsession with fomenting conflict around the world? Apparently, only civil war,” Medvedev added.
When contacted for comment, the U.S. State Department referred Newsweek to its statement, which said that it “unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities.”
“There is never any justification for terrorism. We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Russian bloggers on Telegram expressed support for the attacks in Israel. “Israelis flee to the military enlistment office,” posted the account of Rosich, which prompted smiley emojis from some of the account’s 190,000 followers.
Next to a clip of people fleeing, the Telegram account of Russki Tarantas said that there should be “not a drop of pity or sympathy” for Israelis. The channel Frontovic proclaimed how “Israel was on fire!”
State channel host Sergey Mardan wrote that the turmoil will be beneficial to Russia. He added that Iran, which backs Hamas “is our real military ally,” while Israel “is an ally of the United States,” so “choosing a ‘side’ is very simple.”
Geopolitical analyst Jessica Berlin wrote on X that Russia had steadily strengthened ties with Iran-backed Hamas over the past decade: “Make no mistake: what you’re seeing in Israel today is directly connected to what you see in Ukraine every day.”