Hamas is the main barrier to peace in the Middle East, a Labour MP has told the Commons.
Ian Austin, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, asked about the human rights of Palestinians “living under the brutal dictatorship of Hamas”.
The Dudley North MP asked for the Government’s assessment of the current situation in Gaza during Foreign Office questions.
He said: “What assessment has been made of the human rights of people living under the brutal dictatorship of Hamas which routinely imprisons people without trial, tortures them, executes people and is reported today to have sentenced six people to death?
“Doesn’t this, along with the indiscriminate attacks on Israel, show that Hamas is the main barrier to the peace process we all want to see?”
Middle East Minister Alistair Burt agreed and said the Government did not negotiate with Hamas.
He said: “There’s all too little emphasis of looking at the rule of Hamas in Gaza and the human rights abuses that are conducted, not least the pushing of people towards the fence during the course of the summer, which has led to some of the deaths and woundings that have taken place.
“That’s why we have a longstanding policy of no contact with Hamas.”
Conservative MP Maria Caulfield asked if the Government would support a UN resolution brought by America condemning Hamas for increasing levels of violence in the region.
Mr Burt said he could not disclose voting intentions in advance but said it was “very clear we condemn the action and conduct of Hamas”.
He added: “We call for a permanent end in relation to its terror and rocket attacks in relation to Israel.
“We continue to proscribe the military wing of Hamas, have sanctions against individuals and have no contact with Hamas.”
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