U.S. envoy Greenblatt says, “Palestinian Authority can’t criticize from the sidelines” days after PA head says Israel and Hamas will sign a deal “over my dead body” • U.S. ambassador clarifies Trump remark regarding “higher price” to be paid by Israel.
The U.S. leveled harsh criticism at the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday for derailing Egyptian-led efforts toward a long-term cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
In a statement late Wednesday, U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said that “The Trump administration strongly supports the efforts of [Egyptian] President [Abdel-Fattah] el-Sissi and the Egyptian government to help facilitate an agreement to restore calm in Gaza and bring about the conditions for the Palestinian Authority to fully assume its responsibilities in Gaza.”
“The Palestinian Authority cannot criticize from the sidelines,” Greenblatt continued. “The Palestinian Authority should be part of the solution for the Palestinians of Gaza and Palestinians as a whole. If not, others will fill that void,” he warned.
“Leadership is about making hard choices,” Greenblatt said, in a veiled dig at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “The people of Gaza, and Israelis in the area around Gaza, have suffered for far too long. It is time for the Palestinian Authority to lead the Palestinian people – all Palestinians – to a better future.”
Greenblatt’s statement comes days after Palestinian media quoted Abbas as voicing outrage at the Egyptian moves toward striking an agreement between Israel and Hamas. According to reports, Abbas described the emerging agreement as “a betrayal and a defiance of the [Palestinian] leadership.”