Middle East peace impossible without Hamas - Russian FM

Russia's Foreign Minister wants Hamas to be involved in the Middle East peace process. Sergey Lavrov is in Berlin for an international conference on the situation in the Palestinian territories. Discussions are focusing on providing funding to the Palesti

At the conference Lavrov said Russia is ready to provide the Palestinians with two helicopters and 50 armoured vehicles.

The conference is part of the ongoing attempts towards solving the Palestinian question. It is hoped that giving the Palestinians a functioning economy and institutions will decrease the amount of terrorism and violence in the region and will encourage a peaceful negotiating process with Israel, which will eventually lead to the creation of separate Palestinian and Israeli states.

The major powers are ready to negotiate only with moderate factions in the Palestinian establishment, namely Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas, and those that are prepared to accept the independence of Israel. Russia is convinced the West should try to negotiate with all the Palestinian powers representing all of the people.

Russia has been calling for another peace conference on the status of Palestine in Moscow for almost a year now.

Apart from this conference, in which more than 50 countries will take part, there’ll also be a meeting of the Quartet, which consists of the representatives of the EU, the US, the UN and Russia, plus special envoy Tony Blair.

In December there was another donation conference in Paris, in which more than $US 7 billion was pledged to the Palestinian cause by the major powers. A lot of this money will be spent on establishing a working police force and independent judiciary.

Russia sends humanitarian aid to Gaza

Russia is sending food and medicine to the people of Gaza. An Emergencies Ministry plane carrying 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid has landed in the Jordanian capital Amman en route to the region.

The delivery was promised by the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, following a request from the Palestinian administration.