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Erekat slams US envoy over Gaza rallies

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat today blasted US envoy Jason Greenblatt for criticising Palestinian protests in the Gaza Strip against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

"The US administration's defence of Israel and approving the killing of protesters in the Gaza Strip is incitement against Palestinian rights," Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said in a statement.

He added that peace cannot be established in the Middle East without putting an end to the Israeli military occupation.

Last week, Greenblatt accused Hamas of flying burning kites from the Gaza Strip into Israel as part of the Great March of Return protests against the occupation.

Israel minister: Assassinate Palestinians who launch kites

"Hamas attack kites are not harmless playthings or metaphors for freedom. They are deployed as propaganda and indiscriminate weapons," he tweeted in Arabic. "Since the recent outbreak of violence, Hamas attack kites have started hundreds of fires, destroyed thousands of acres & wasted millions of dollars."

Since March, more than 127 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli gunfire in anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip.

Erekat said Greenblatt should have at least expressed condolences to families of the Palestinian victims.

"He rather preferred to be an official spokesperson for Israel by supporting these crimes and heap the blame on the victim," he said.

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