British Foreign Sec’y Jack Straw in Israel

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 | 
The violence erupted hours before British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw arrived in Israel for a two day visit that will include separate talks with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials. The visit has been overshadowed by contacts between Britain and Israel’s arch terrorist enemy Hamas. Before arriving, Straw said British diplomats had twice met officials associated with the Hamas “non-military” wing. "But on each of those occasions our staff have spelled out...our position overall in respect of no dealings with Hamas as an organization as long as it continues to support violence," Straw told BBC radio. Both Britain and the US have been softening their positions on Hamas after the group won several municipal elections. Hamas responded that it will never abandon its arms.

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