Trump Envoy Jason Greenblatt to Palestinians: Recognize Israel, Commit to Nonviolence

Real estate attorney and Donald Trump's Israeli advisor Jason Greenblatt attends the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala at the Marriott Marquis on Thursday, May 5, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt called on the Palestinian leadership on Monday to recognize Israel and commit to nonviolence as a precondition to resuming negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Greenblatt tweeted, “The United States stresses that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations.”

Greenblatt also praised Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his delegation from the ruling Fatah party for visiting the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The visit was aimed at reconciling Fatah and Hamas a decade after the terror group seized the Gaza Strip in a brief civil war.

Hamdallah said at a welcome ceremony that a unity government would take control of Gaza’s administrative affairs, as well as “security responsibilities and responsibility for crossings and borders.”

Greenblatt responded by saying that the U.S. welcomes Fatah’s control of Gaza.

“As the Palestinian Authority Cabinet visits Gaza today in preparation for the October 3 cabinet meeting, the United States welcomes efforts to create the conditions for the Palestinian Authority to fully assume its responsibilities in Gaza, as noted in the September 28 Quartet statement,” he said.

“We will be watching these developments closely, while pressing forward with the Palestinian Authority, Israel and international donors to try to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” he continued.

At the ceremony in Gaza, Hamdallah said Fatah was working “to end the division” between the rival parties.

“I commend the factions and civil society members who have joined together to bring it to an end,” Hamdallah stated.

“It is time to take responsibility,” Hamdallah added. “The only factor that benefits from our division is the Israeli occupation. We praise Hamas for the dispersion of the administrative committee and look forward to working closely with all factions and components of civil society for the benefit of our people in the Gaza Strip.

“The success of the government depends on its ability to carry out its actions in practice. We will continue to resist the Israeli occupation until the blockade over the Gaza Strip is lifted and the crossings are opened.”

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