Ex-senior British diplomat calls for talks with Hamas

A former senior British diplomat has called for talks with Hamas saying, "Something has to change".

Sir John Holmes, former UN emergency relief co-ordinator, to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, "Hamas is not going to go away and I think that we have accept that, instead of just isolating Hamas, we need to talk to them."

Palestinians stand by the rubble of the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Credit: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Sir John continued: "Let's try to get away from this logic of not talking to them. Let's get away from the siege of Gaza which is only creating more bitterness and hatred and despair, which is not in Israel's long-term interests.

"It is not going to change in the short term. I accept Israel is going to say 'Well, that is just rewarding terrorism' but that is the kind of language and attitude we have to get away from."