Expert Survey: Russian Elections and the Post-Hamas World

Here is the visual representation of a scholarly setting where a group of experts is engaged in a deep discussion about geopolitical issues in the Middle East, focusing on Israel and Palestine.

Purpose of the study

Analyze the role of the elections in Russia and the actions of the Russian Federation to consolidate political forces in the Palestinian Authority, on the situation in the Middle East and the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the situation here after the defeat of Hamas”.

Research Objectives

  1. Predict possible changes in the rhetoric of Russian President V. Putin in relation to the situation in the Middle East after his re-election as President of the Russian Federation. Putin’s rhetoric towards the situation in the Middle East after his re-election as President of the Russian Federation.
  2. Analyze the potential of the Russian Federation’s efforts to consolidate Palestinian forces for the establishment of a Palestinian state and a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Rationale for the research topic

The proposed research topic logically continues and develops the line of our previous studies:

In a December survey of Israelis’ expectations regarding Israel’s foreign policy situation after the defeat of the Hamas organization, experts predicted a possible deterioration in relations with Russia. The study also revealed low support for the idea of “two states” among the Jewish population (16.2%), especially among religious Israelis (5-9%).

An expert survey on “Palestine without Hamas” has already outlined a number of scenarios for a Palestine without the organization. The new study allows us to revisit these questions, but in the light of Russia’s election results and its policy on the Palestinian track.

This is all the more important because, as it follows from the results of our poll, V. Putin is among the three politicians who determine the agenda in the Middle East (in the opinion of 31.3%).

It should be noted that despite the fact that the majority of Israelis in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict support the Ukrainian side, nevertheless, the risk of deterioration of relations with Russia as a consequence of Israel’s involvement in the conflict occupies a leading place in their political outlook. This also indicates the potential for Russia’s influence on various aspects of global and regional politics.

With this in mind, we hypothesized that the Russian election campaign may constrain the Russian leader’s activity in implementing peacekeeping policy in the Middle East, and after the campaign is over, the policy may change somewhat.

As it is clear from Putin’s actions in the context of Middle East policy, the two main and closely interrelated directions in which he is working are a) the formation of a full-fledged entity of the Palestinian Authority, and b) the formation of a peace policy between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the basis of a responsible and mutually beneficial policy.

The readiness of Israelis to support these directions is a significant factor in the success of V. Putin’s actions on the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian conflict. Putin’s actions on the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian conflict, and the results of the study of such readiness can contribute to the formation of Russia’s information policy, ensuring its political effectiveness.


Based on the results of the expert survey, several key theses can be identified on the topic of the influence of the elections in Russia and the Russian Federation’s attempts to consolidate political forces in the Palestinian Authority on the situation in the Middle East and the peace process envisioned after the defeat of Hamas.

In the opinion of most experts, the end of the election campaign and the elections themselves are unlikely to fundamentally affect Russia’s policy in the Middle East. Putin’s ratings and the level of support for his activities among Russians are high enough, and he has no reason to be “cautious” in implementing an open policy in the Middle East.

“It would be naive to expect that the elections in Russia will lead to tectonic shifts in its Middle East policy. But a certain course correction with an emphasis on the Palestinian direction is quite possible. If only to strengthen its own influence. “Russian elections are unlikely to be a game changer in the Middle East. Unless the Kremlin decides to use the Palestinian card more actively in its geopolitical game, it could revitalize the peace process. Even if Moscow’s goal is primarily to strengthen its own position in the region. “A certain intensification of diplomatic efforts is possible, but there will not be a cardinal revision of the course.”

As for Russia’s potential to implement its stated policy in the Middle East The experts emphasize that “The success of Russian efforts at inter-Palestinian reconciliation is not guaranteed, but the chances are higher than those of other external players. Russia has its own leverage over Palestinian factions”; “Moscow’s attempts to consolidate Palestinian forces may yield some tactical successes, but without U.S. involvement, their strategic influence on the peace process will be limited”. It is also noted that “Russian efforts to consolidate the Palestinians may have some effect, especially against the background of the split between Fatah and Hamas. But the long-term sustainability of any agreements is questionable. The intra-Palestinian contradictions are too deep and fundamental”.

And although all experts are unanimous in their opinion that the elimination of Hamas opens a certain window of opportunity for the intensification of peace dialog , however, “much will depend on the position of the new leadership of the autonomy and Israel’s readiness for counter steps. Russia’s efforts alone will not be enough for a breakthrough in the settlement.

On the one hand, Russia’s efforts to establish the Palestinian autonomy and its subjectivity as a necessary element of the peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict as a necessary element of a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict, are logical and positively assessed by experts. They repeatedly emphasize the need for an actor capable of being held accountable for negotiated agreements. On the other hand, for the Israelis. the formation of such an entity is not so unambiguously positive on the other hand, the formation of such an entity is not so positive for Israelis, since a strong Palestinian autonomy is also a more risky neighbor for Israel. “And if under certain conditions the Palestinian Authority is able to take a leadership position politically in the Arab world, that could be critical for Israel.”

In this regard, an important aspect of Israelis’ support for policies to strengthen Palestinian subjectivity should be to propose and publicize preventive measures included in international treaties that ensure Israel’s security. And “such measures should include the implementation of the Abrahamic Covenants.”

As mentioned above, practically all experts speak one way or another about Russia’s political potential in regulating the conflict in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, among experts there are also pessimistic and even negative expectations about Russia’s participation in Middle East politics. “Russia has always pursued its imperial interests in the Middle East . It will be the same after the election. Any of its initiatives on Palestine are directed against Israel, even when presented under the sauce of a ‘peace process’.” “Moscow’s attempts to bring its puppets to power in the autonomy are doomed. The Palestinians are divided and will never accept outside dictation. Even the military defeat of Hamas has not made them more cooperative.” “The only path to peace is through direct dialog between Israel and Palestinian leaders without outside interference. Mediation by the Russian Federation, as well as other players, only distances the prospect of a settlement on our terms.”

Either way, experts say Russia is trying to increase its influence in the election of a leader of the new Palestinian state who will be able to advance Moscow’s interests in Palestine and the Middle East. This fits into the broader context of the struggle over the future of Palestine, which could lean either pro-American or pro-Russian depending on “whose” leader comes to power. In the case of the “Russian” option (experts lean toward the figure of Marwan Bargutti), the economic bloc created under the Abrahamic Accords will drift toward BRICS, moving away from Israel’s traditional partnership with the US and the EU.

Thus, the interviews revealed a wide range of opinions within the expert community in Israel on the topic under discussion. For all the differences in assessments, most do not recognize the likelihood of an intensification of Russian policy on the Palestinian track after the elections. However, the impact of this factor on the prospects for a peaceful settlement is assessed differently. Skepticism about Russia’s ability to turn the situation around on its own is not uncommon. At the same time, experts see the potential for Moscow’s positive role within the multilateral format and in coordination with other players. The elimination of Hamas is seen as important but not decisive for a breakthrough. The key to progress remains the political will of the parties to the conflict themselves.