Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
May 6, 2011 - 12:00am

British Prime Minister David Cameron during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu called on Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist and join peace negotiations.

Cameron and Netanyahu met Wednesday night; the Israeli leader traveled to France on Thursday.

According to a statement released Wedneday night by Cameron, the two leaders discussed the Fatah-Hamas unity deal.

"Prime Minister Cameron said that any new Palestinian government must reject violence, recognize Israel's right to exist and engage in the peace process, and that Britain would judge it by its actions," the statement said.

Netanyahu has said that he will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

A report in the British newspaper the Guardian cited an unnamed senior diplomatic source as saying that Britain would recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state if Israel does not take part in substantive peace negotiations with the Palestinians leading to two states.

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post reported that British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks told the House of Lords on Wednesday that Israel cannot make peace with Hamas.

"Peace is more than a resting place on the road to war," Sacks reportedly said. "I cannot make peace with one who denies my right to exist."

He said pace must begin with "unequivocal recognition" of Israel's right to exist.


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