TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump’s special Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt slammed Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas on Monday for bringing “ruin and misery” to the Palestinian people.
“Hamas, which has only brought ruin and misery to Palestinians, now begs Iran for help and again vows to destroy Israel,” Greenblatt tweeted. “Palestinians deserve so much better than this. We must find a better path forward toward peace and prosperity.”
A senior delegation of Hamas officials in Tehran recently made it clear that their pledge to destroy Israel would remain in place despite a reconciliation deal with rival group Fatah.
Greenblatt last week called on the terrorist group to “unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties — including to disarm terrorists — and commit to peaceful negotiations.”
Israel also demanded that Hamas disarm and recognize the State of Israel, as well as divest from Iran.
A Hamas spokesman charged the U.S. with “blatantly interfering in matters that belong only to the Palestinian people.”
“We have the right to choose a government that is suitable for the Palestinians,” the spokesman added. “Jason Greenblatt’s statement contradicts previous statements that supported the internal Palestinian reconciliation, and was put out under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist government.”
An Iranian official, meanwhile, lauded Hamas for sticking to its guns regarding its violent actions against the Jewish state.
“We congratulate you for declaring that you will not set your weapons aside and for describing it as your red line,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, international affairs adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to the regime-affiliated Fars news agency.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Admiral Ali Shamkhani on Saturday also expressed hope that Hamas would continue to be a “central pioneer of the Palestinian resistance,” Iran’s Press TV reported.
Hamas deputy chief Salah Arouri, who led the delegation to Tehran, said on Saturday, “We’re not in the stage of recognition; rather we are now in the stage of preparing to eliminate the Zionist entity.” As for cutting ties with Iran, he said, “Our visit to Tehran is our practical rejection to the Israeli demand to cut ties with it.”
Two days earlier, Hamas’ Gaza-based Prime Minister Yahya Sinwar said, “No one in the universe can disarm us. On the contrary, we will continue to have the power to protect our citizens.”