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Hamas denies US accusations on Gaza misery

February 18, 2018 at 11:03 am

Gazan children seen going about their lives after a day of rain, February 17, 2018 [Mohammed Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has dismissed US accusations for the group of causing a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier this month, Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, blamed Hamas for causing “misery” to Gaza’s people by choosing “to increase violence”.

“We reject the White House allegations that Hamas was responsible for Gaza’s aggravating humanitarian crisis,” Hamas said in a statement on Sunday.

It described the US accusations as a “green light for the Israeli occupation to continue its aggressive approach against the Palestinian people.”

Hamas blamed Israel’s decade-long blockade on the seaside strip for “Gaza’s humanitarian catastrophe”, which, it says, has been imposed with “a public US support”.

It went on to hold “successive US administrations responsible for the tragedies that have plagued the Palestinian people since the beginning of the occupation”.

Home to nearly two million people, Gaza has been reeling under a decade-long siege that has badly affected livelihood in the Palestinian territory.

“The US ignored throughout the history of the [Arab-Israeli] conflict the right of the Palestinian people to live in security and peace on their land,” Hamas said.

The Palestinian group said Trump was seeking to tighten up the blockade with a view to “bringing our people and political forces to their knees for imposing solutions that aim at liquidating their cause”.

Last month, the US Treasury Department placed Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh on its terror list.

The US move came amid intense tension with the Palestinians after Trump’s decision on 6 December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to cut some $65 million in US aid to the Palestinians.