A reward for Hamas’s “pivotal role” in ending the terrorist abduction of BBC reporter Alan Johnston:
British lawmakers urge talks with Hamas
A day after the release of a kidnapped BBC reporter by the Hamas government in Gaza, 20 British Parliament members called for talks with Hamas.
The Parliament members, from across the political spectrum, put forward a motion in the House of Commons urging international engagement with Hamas, which Britain considers a terrorist group.
Hamas’ “pivotal role” in ending the four-month abduction of Alan Johnston is a sign that Hamas should be part of Palestinian reconciliation efforts, the motion said. Johnston “acknowledged the pivotal role played by Hamas in condemning the kidnapping and securing his release,” it said.
After Johnston’s release Wednesday, Britain’s new foreign secretary, David Miliband, also “fully acknowledged the crucial role” played by Hamas and its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in securing Johnston’s release, though no official softening of the government’s stance against Hamas has been announced.
“The international community’s support for Mahmoud Abbas as the legitimate President of Palestine should not preclude contact with Hamas,” the motion said.