A private meeting between a group of senior British MPs and prominent members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority took place in Ramallah last week, British daily The Indepentent reported on Wednesday. 

The meeting only came to light on Tuesday as the Commons Select Committee on International Development strongly criticised the boycott of the Hamas led government.

The parliamentarians consisted of a Tory whip, two senior Labour backbenchers and a Liberal Democrat peer. According to sources they are "easily the most influential group of British politicians to have met senior members of the PA cabinet since Hamas's election victory in 2006."

An all-party report crticised the UK/US led boycott on the Hamas government, saying that it had "stripped Hamas of any real accountability for its performance to the Palestinian people, caused widespread misery and hardship among Palestinians, and forced the Hamas government to look elsewhere for support, including Iran."

The report also urged the international community to "hold Israel to the agreement it signed in November 2005 to facilitate movement of goods from Gaza."