Senior Hamas leader Sami Abu-Zuhri has described comments made by Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, as “shameful” and “hostile.”
Abu-Zuhri wrote on Twitter: “Greenblatt’s remarks that the West Bank is not occupied and the settlements are Israeli neighbourhoods are shameful and proves that Trump’s administration is hostile to the Palestinians and the Umma [Muslim nation].”
This comes after Greenblatt earlier this week told PBS network that “Israel is a victim and does not bear the responsibility” for its 71-year-old conflict with the Palestinians.
This is not the first time Greenblatt has drawn sharp criticism from the Palestinian factions. He has previously came under fire for criticising the Palestinian Authority (PA) for failing to pay for a Palestinian child’s medical treatment while ignoring Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip, and for backing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s comments that Israel has the “right” to annex the occupied West Bank.
Abu-Zuhri also criticised the normalisation of relations between Israel and Bahrain, after Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifah and his Israeli counterpart, Yisrael Katz, held their first public meeting in the US on Wednesday.
The meeting took place on the side lines of the Advance Religious Freedom conference in Washington DC and, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, was coordinated behind the scenes by the US State Department.
“These meetings and pictures are treason for Jerusalem and Palestine,” Abu-Zuhri stressed, adding that they “will not push the Umma to forget or give up Palestine and turn to normalisation with the [Israeli] occupation”.