Jason Greenblatt
Jason GreenblattShahar Azran

Former White House Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt ripped US President Joe Biden's response to the accidental killing of seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCJ) organization in Gaza earlier this week.

"I recognize that it’s hard to try to maintain nuance when emotions are running high, as they do in the midst of war. Nonetheless, we must remember a few basic principles to help us make sense of the tragic strike that killed 7 workers of WCKitchen in Gaza," Greenblatt wrote on social media today (Wednesday).

"The deaths of these aid workers who were trying to alleviate suffering in Gaza are a tragedy. They are not props to be weaponized against Israel in a blame game," the former Trump Administration special envoy said.

He continued, "Israel has already stated an investigation will be forthcoming. What happens behind the scenes in war time is often complicated. Israel will determine how this happened and draw the appropriate lessons once they determine what happened."

According to Greenblatt, "Making a mistake, even one that causes tragedy, is not the same as being reckless. To infer from this mistake that Israel often or constantly makes similar mistakes because it is careless is a false conclusion. (Based on the attention this tragedy is getting, it is more likely the exception that proves the rule — that Israel tries its best to be extremely careful.) Saying that Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers and other civilians is simply untrue and reckless. It gives fuel to those who spread lies about Israel."

"The fault for every civilian death in Gaza remains with Hamas, not Israel. Hamas started this war. It hides among civilians to make tragedies like this more likely. It steals food and supplies, making aid like this necessary in the first place. Hamas refuses to give up the hostages it has been holding for six months. Hamas refuses to surrender, which causes terrible suffering," he said.

"War causes tragedy. That is the nature of war. Those brave souls who tried to help feed Palestinian civilians are now part of the tragic story. But the tragic story in this war started with Hamas. The war can end if Hamas surrenders and returns the hostages. Then we can figure out how to build a better future for Gaza, once it is no longer trapped under Hamas’s tyranny," he concluded.

Greenblatt was responding to an official statement published by the White House in which President Biden said that he was "outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American, in Gaza yesterday. They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy."

Biden added, "Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult – because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians. Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians. The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties.