Yesterday in the House of Lords, Home Office Minister Baroness Williams asserted that the UK Government will continue to proscribe the Hamas terror group, following calls from a crossbench peer to remove Hamas from their list of terrorist organisations.
CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and Lord Kirkhope were among those to express their concerns about the proposal, with Lord Polak stating that the suggestion “beggars belief” during the week of the Balfour Declaration centenary.
Lord Polak emphasised that Hamas “has not renounced terror and it still calls for killing Jews and the destruction of Israel”.
He asked the Minister if she agreed that “any reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, which should be welcomed, should require that Hamas be disarmed, because Israel certainly cannot be expected to negotiate with a terror group that calls for its destruction”.
Minister Williams underlined that the Government’s “policy on Hamas is very clear”: “The group must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements”.
Conservative peer, Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate, asked the Minister if she agreed that “the very minimum we should require from Hamas and others is that they acknowledge the basic right of the state of Israel to exist and to be fully part of the international community, and to respect its democracy?”
Crossbench peer Lord Hylton had asked the Government “what consideration they are giving to removing Hamas from their list of terrorist organisations, in the light of its reconciliation agreement with Fatah and reports of its willingness to hold new elections and to recognise the international frontiers of Israel”.
Read the full exchange here and watch Lord Polak and Lord Kirkhope below.