The UK is committed to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. We have committed up to £243 million over three years to help the Palestinian people and build the institutions of a future Palestinian state. This is linked to tangible progress in peace negotiations.
The UK along with our international partners, has always made clear its desire to work with those who are committed to peaceful progress in the region. Unfortunately, due to the actions that Hamas has taken, we are not yet prepared to engage with them. Hamas remains committed to terrorism in order to achieve its aims.
We do not have any direct contact with Hamas. The Quartet have set out clearly that Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. Hamas must make concrete and immediate movement towards these conditions, which remain the benchmark against which its intentions should be judged.
The UK calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas on 25 June 2006. It is also vital that Hamas allows the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Gilad immediately and ensure that he is in good health.
His continued captivity without any ICRC access and with only very occasional, minimal contact with his family is unacceptable. Read the Foreign Secretary's 25 June statement on Gilad Shalit.