Russian FM warns against isolating Hamas

Attempts to isolate the Hamas could lead to civil war in the Palestinian territories, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Saturday. During an interview with television network Vesti 24, Lavrov went on to say that violence in Gaza had "not been caused by Hamas but by Hamas's radical branch," adding that the group's political wing headed by Khaled Mashaal had repeatedly expressed its willingness to negotiate with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Lavrov called for talks between Abbas and Hamas lawmakers who he said "represent the legitimate power structures."