Britain criticises Hamas' mourning of bin Laden

3rd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday criticised the militant Islamic movement Hamas for mourning Osama bin Laden's death.

After the Al-Qaeda chief was killed by US forces, the head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniya, said: "We condemn any killing of a holy warrior or of a Muslim and Arab person and we ask God to bestow his mercy upon him."

Speaking a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Britain for talks, Hague told parliament that he believed unity in welcoming the killing would help the stalled Middle East peace process.

Hague said: "It would assist that cause if it was possible to show across many different divides in the world a good deal of unity about what happened on Sunday night and the removal of the author of some of the world's greatest terrorist acts from the scene.

"It would have been better for Hamas to join the welcome to that. That would have been a boost in itself to the peace process."

Netanyahu will hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday and is expected to point to a reconciliation deal between Hamas and the Western-backed Fatah in his efforts to block UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu on Tuesday called on Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to "completely cancel" the reconciliation deal with Hamas that was signed in Cairo earlier in the day, and warned it was a "hard blow" to the peace process.

© 2011 AFP

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