netanyahu and cameron_311.
(photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a commitment to Israeli
security – but did not promise to reject the Fatah- Hamas unity deal – when he
began his meeting Wednesday night with Prime Minister Binyamin
RELATED:'Fatah-Hamas unity a blow to peace, victory for terrorism'
The Israeli leader entered the meeting at 10 Downing Street
hoping to hear those words from Cameron.
Diskin: Fatah-Hamas agreement is a façade, won't lastMashaal: Palestinians' common enemy is Israel
Netanyahu believes that a
Palestinian government that is aligned with Hamas, an organization dedicated to
Israel’s destruction, is a threat to Israel’s security.
Fatah and Hamas signed a unity agreement in Cairo on Wednesday, Cameron did not
even mention it at the start of their meeting.
“Britain is a good friend
of Israel, and our support for Israel and Israel’s security is unshakable. We
are strong friends of Israel,” he said.
“There is a real opportunity with
the end of bin Laden, and the Arab spring.
“This is a moment of
opportunity to continue the work, and to defeat terrorism in our world and to
continue the expansion of democracy, civil rights and freedom across the Middle
East and North Africa,” Cameron continued.
Although Netanyahu has said
that the unity deal has dealt a blow to the peace process, Cameron nevertheless
said he believed that there was an opportunity to “push forward the process of
peace between Israel and Palestine.”
Although the Hamas-Fatah unity deal
is the issue upmost on Netanyahu’s mind, he did not mention it at the start of
the meeting, either.
Instead he spoke in more global terms.
think the fate of the Middle East and the fate of peace hangs in the balance,”
Addressing Cameron, he said, “You have taken a resolute stance
against tyranny and terror in such places as Iran and Libya. We think that moral
clarity and political clarity can ensure that peace wins out.”
Israeli officials said that during the meeting Cameron did say that the
United Kingdom was committed to the Quartet's principles that Hamas must
renounce terror, recognize Israel and abide by past agreements with
quoted a diplomatic source as saying Cameron told Netanyahu that Britain would consider supporting a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians if Israel fails to join substantive peace talks to create a two-state solution.
"Britain's clear and absolute preference is for a negotiation to take place between Israel and the Palestinians which leads to a two state solution which everyone endorses. But at this point Britain is not ruling anything out. The more Israel engages seriously in a meaningful peace process the less likely it is that this question of unilateral declaration would arise," the source said.
the meeting, however, it was Syria, not Israel, that worried activists in
Indeed, although an Israeli prime minister was at Downing Street,
activists gathered outside to demonstrate against Syria.
Assad,” they shouted, as the two men talked.
Unlike Cameron’s publicly avoiding
any mention of the Palestinian unity agreement, a top US official said
Washington expected the Palestinians to stick to the principles of
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US expected to receive a
document from the Palestinians detailing each and every point in the unity
agreement, Israel Radio reported.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to