Hague sticks to the line: 'We blame Hamas for violence'

The UK is continuing to back Israel
The UK is continuing to back Israel

By Charles Maggs

William Hague has refused to change his position that the current turmoil in the Middle East is primarily the fault of Hamas, despite an onslaught of Israeli bombings over the course of the week.

Speaking in the Commons, the foreign secretary did reiterate calls for an end to violence in Gaza and called on Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do everything possible to secure peace.

But he nevertheless insisted "Hamas bears the principle responsibility" for the latest round of violence due to its continued rocket attacks on Israel.

Since Israel began airstrikes on November 14th three Israelis and over a hundred Palestinians have been killed.

Peace negotiations should begin immediately he said, and a "negotiated two state settlement is needed".

He claimed that it would prove self defeating for Israel to launch a full scale invasion of the occupied territory.

"We have also warned that a ground invasion of Gaza could lengthen the conflict, sharply increase civilian casualties, and erode international support for Israel’s position," he said.
Egypt has been heavily involved in trying to restore peace to the region, and Hague confirmed that David Cameron had spoken with both President Morsi and Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

He argued that a key to reaching a more stable situation would involve Israel opening up access to the Gaza Strip, which has effectively been sealed off since 2008 as well as an immediate end to more settlement building in the occupied territories.

He also stated once again that the position of the UK government is to continue to press for a two state solution, based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both countries.


Load in comments
Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.