U.S. United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley (C) White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (L) and Jason Greenblatt (R), U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, stand before the start of a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations in New York, U.S., Feb.
(photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
A day before arriving in Israel for talks, US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt wrote a blistering Twitter post against Hamas – translated into Arabic and Hebrew – asking how the world can help when “murderous Hamas leaders continue to squander the resources of Gaza.”
Writing that Hamas continues to “fail the Palestinians of Gaza” through arson kites, incendiary balloons and mortar and rocket attacks directed at Israel, Greenblatt said, “The people deserve better.”
He also criticized the Palestinian Authority, which is refusing to meet with him and US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner when they arrive.
“Hamas and the PA, who have been fighting one another for over a decade, are each cynically claiming that the US is trying to divide Gaza and the West Bank, instead of acknowledging that we are trying to help the Palestinians in Gaza. What hypocrisy,” he wrote.
Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh charged this week that the US was trying to “separate Gaza from the West Bank under the title of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
Kushner and Greenblatt met in Egypt on Thursday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, and then later in the day in Qatar with Amir Sheikh Tamm Bin Hamad Al Thani. On Wednesday they met Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud in Riyadh, and on Tuesday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman. Kushner and Greenblatt were expected to arrive in Israel late Thursday evening, and meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.
With the exception of changing the names of the leaders and the country involved, the White House issued almost the same statement – cut and paste style – following each meeting over the last three days.
Kushner and Greenblatt, Thursday’s statement said after the meeting in Cairo, “returned to the Arab Republic of Egypt and met today with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Building on previous discussions, they discussed increasing cooperation between the United States and Egypt, the need to facilitate humanitarian relief to Gaza, and the Trump administration’s efforts to facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
The visit to the region comes as the Trump administration is weighing if, when and how they should roll out their long-awaited blueprint for a Mideast peace deal
This issue is also expected to be discussed when Abdullah meets Trump next week in Washington for a visit announced Thursday by the White House. The two leaders, the statement said, “will discuss issues of mutual concern, including terrorism, the threat from Iran and the crisis in Syria, and working towards a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Abdullah met Trump in April 2017 in Washington, and again in New York in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, who Netanyahu wants to stay in Washington for a sixth year
, arrived in Israel to take part in Netanyahu's discussions with Kushner, Greenblatt and US Ambassador David Friedman.