A British diplomat met the Palestinian Authority prime minister, raising Israeli hackles. Britain’s consul general in Jerusalem, Richard Makepeace, traveled to Gaza on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, despite London’s official boycott of the terrorist group that heads the Palestinian Authority. Political sources said the meeting related to British efforts to recover a BBC reporter who was kidnapped in Gaza last month. But Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, worried that Thursday’s meeting would undermine Western efforts to isolate Hamas until it softens its stance against the Jewish state. There is concern as well that by signaling its willingness to engage Hamas over the missing journalist, Britain could spur Palestinians to kidnap Israelis in hope of effecting similar contacts with Jerusalem.
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