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Israel and Palestine

Volume 684: debated on Friday 14 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the likely impact of the recent kidnapping of anIsraeli soldier and Israel’s retaliatory measures on the prospects for early recognition of Israel by the Hamas Government; and what steps they are taking to revive these prospects through the European Union's representation in the quartet.[HL6812]

We remain deeply concerned by the recent events in Gaza and call for the immediate and unconditional release of Corporal Shalit. We also urge Israel to act with restraint and in accordance with international law.

We continue to call upon Hamas to commit to the quartet’s (EU, US, UN and Russia) three principles: to renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previous agreements and obligations. Hamas needs to start implementing these principles. We are ready to take the peace process forward with it if it does.

We have made no assessment on Hamas’ likelihood of recognising Israel since the abduction of the Israeli soldier.