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Israel's three-way deal on Iran in Syria and Russia in the G-7

Israel’s political and security echelons are intently nurturing ties and coordinating with Russia to oust Iran from Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 9, 2018. Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS - RC1F1D4F89B0

In honor of Russia’s Independence Day, a traditional reception was held on June 14 in Sergei's Courtyard, a 19th-century complex in Jerusalem built for Russian pilgrims. This annual event usually doesn't attract significant media or governmental attention, but this year, it resembled Israel’s Independence Day more than the typical Russian one. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a large number of government ministers and high-level officials graced the event with their presence, including Jerusalem Affairs and Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Aliyah and Integration Minister Sofa Landver and Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi. In addition, this year’s celebration attracted a large number of people in uniform, mainly on the Russian side.

“There were quite a number of high-level Russian generals and military men,” one of the invited guests told Al-Monitor, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It almost resembled an event of the Red Army with the conspicuous presence of so many men in uniform, including some who serve on the Syrian-Lebanese front. It was almost as if they simply dropped by Israel to meet their Israeli counterparts, taking advantage of the Russian Independence Day event to do so.”

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