The Palestinians should cut all ties with the United States because of “racist” and “ignorant” comments US Ambassador David Friedman made to The Jerusalem Post last week, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on Saturday.
Friedman, a driving force behind US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there from Tel Aviv, told the Post that while the Palestinians’ angry reaction was expected, “we were disappointed with some of the rhetoric, which was ugly, needlessly provocative and antisemitic.”
“As we go forward,” he added, “this has to change.”
Barhoum said Friedman’s statements reflect “the ambassador’s racism, ignorance and contempt for Palestinian rights and international law. He is affirming, in this policy, that they are partners to the occupation in all of its crimes against our people and its holy sites.”
According to the Hamas spokesman, the statements “are sufficient to justify an official Palestinian declaration of cutting ties with the American administration and ending Oslo.” He said the time has come to end the Oslo process, which “has led to the relinquishment of Palestinian rights and reinforcement of the Israeli occupation.”
This is not the first time the Palestinians have lambasted Friedman. For instance, they became furious in September, when Friedman said in an interview that the settlements were “only occupying 2% of the West Bank,” and that he saw the settlements as part of Israel.
Nabil Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called Friedman at the time “this alleged ambassador of the United States” and said he “has absolute ignorance of facts of law of the position of the United States.”
Adam Rasgon contributed to this story.