Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn: Why I called Hamas our friends

July 14, 2015

MP Jeremy Corbyn has explained why he described Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” during a parliamentary meeting on the Middle East.

The Labour leadership candidate said he had used the term in a "collective way" but insisted he does not agree with what either organisation does.

"There is not going to be a peace process unless there is talks involving Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas and I think everyone knows that," he told Channel Four News.

"I spoke at a meeting about the Middle East crisis in parliament and there were people there from Hezbollah and I said I welcomed our friends from Hezbollah to have a discussion and a debate, and I said I wanted Hamas to be part of that debate.

"I have met Hamas in Lebanon and I've met Hezbollah in this country and Lebanon.

"The wider question is Hamas and Hezbollah are part of a wider peace process. Even the former head of Mossad says that there has to be talks involving Hamas.

"I've also had discussions with people from the right in Israeli politics who have the same view possibly that the state of Israel should extend from the river to the sea, as it is claimed people from the Palestinian side do."

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Last updated: 9:58am, July 14 2015