Conservative Friends of Israel has urged the British Government to reconsider its position on Hamas’ involvement in the Palestinian administration following the murder of three Israel teenagers.
The discovery of the bodies of the trio – aged 16 to 19 – were discovered yesterday just over 10 miles from the West Bank bus stop at which they were last seen 18 day earlier. News of their fate has prompted calls from some quarters for a harsh military response and a ratcheting up of demands from Jerusalem for President Mahmoud Abbas to annul the his unity deal with Hamas, which Israel blames for the kidnapping.
CFI chair James Clappison said: “It is regrettable that the formation of a Hamas-Fatah unity Government was welcomed by the British Government a few short weeks ago. In light of today’s appalling events, the Government must immediately reassess and reconsider its support for Hamas’ presence in a Palestinian unity Government.”
William Hague previously welcomed the unity deal, saying that bringing together the leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank was “a necessary condition for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. He suggested at the time that support depended on the “interim technocratic” Government’s acceptance of the “principle of non-violence and acceptance of all previous agreements”.
In a strongly-worded statement in which he expressed “deeply saddened” at the news, David Cameron added: “This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror perpetrated against young teenagers. Britain will stand with Israel as it seeks to bring to justice those responsible.
“Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with the families of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal. No parent should have ever to suffer such heartache or grief.”
Ed Miliband added on Twitter: “This was an utterly reprehensible act of terrorism.”