Cameron supports Israeli security, but is mum on unity deal

UK PM says there is still hope for peace process during London meeting with Netanyahu; US official: Palestinians expected to stick to principles of peace.

By
May 4, 2011 23:29
2 minute read.
Netanyahu and Cameron in London, Wednesday.

netanyahu and cameron_311. (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

United Kingdom’s 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 Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader entered the meeting at 10 Downing Street hoping to hear those words from Cameron. 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.

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But although 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 [Osama] bin Laden and the Arab spring.

“This 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 said.



Although Netanyahu has said that the unity deal has dealt a blow to the peace process, Cameron still spoke of the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said he believed there was an opportunity to “push forward the process of peace between Israel and Palestine.”

Unlike Cameron's avoiding mentioning the Palestinian unity agreement, a top US official said Washington expected the Palestinians to stick to the principles of peace.

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.

Although the Hamas Fatah unity deal is on the issue uppermost is Netanyahu’s mind, he did not mention it at the start of the meeting.

Instead he spoke in more global terms.

“I think the fate of the Middle East and the fate of peace hangs in the balance,” he said.

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 these forces win out, that peace wins out,” he said.

Outside the meeting, however, it was Syria and not Israel that worried activists in London.

Although an Israeli prime minister was at Downing street, activists gathered outside to demonstrate, not against Israel, but against Syria.

“Down with Assad,” they shouted, as the two men talked.


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