State Department: Greenblatt's statement is nothing new

State Department spokeswoman: Any Palestinian government must commit to non-violence and recognize Israel.

Ben Ariel ,

State Department building
State Department building

The State Department on Thursday said the comments by the Special Envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, regarding the reconciliation agreement between Fatan and Hamas were in line with the view of the Administration.

Greenblatt said in a statement that “any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.”

"If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements," he added.

Later on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was asked about Greenblatt's statement in her daily press briefing, and reiterated that “there is nothing new about what he addressed. These are the Quartet principles and they’re the principles that I’ve addressed many times right here.”

“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence, recognize the state of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including to disarm terrorists and also commit to peaceful negotiations,” continued Nauert.

“So none of that is new. That’s something that Representative Greenblatt in his trip announced in a statement. For some reason, some people thought it was incredibly new, but it’s not,” she stressed.

Greenblatt's statement came after Israel's Political-Security Cabinet declared that it will not negotiate with a Fatah-Hamas unity government should it be established, and will not maintain contact with a Palestinian Authority (PA) government which rests on Hamas support.

Hamas on Thursday blasted Greenblatt's statement, accusing the United States of "blatantly interfering in matters that belong only to the Palestinian people. We have the right to choose a government that is suitable for the Palestinians."

A spokesman for the terror group added that "Jason Greenblatt's statement contradicts previous statements that supported the internal Palestinian reconciliation, and was put out under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his extremist government."

Netanyahu lauded the Trump administration and Greenblatt over the statement later on Thursday.

"I would like to commend the statement by the American administration in Washington. I am pleased that President Trump's envoy, Jason Greenblatt, made it very clear that Hamas must be disarmed, Israel must be recognized and previous international decisions must be honored,” said Netanyahu.

“They made it clear that any Palestinian government needs to be committed to these principles. We want peace; we want a genuine peace and because of this, we will not conduct negotiations with a terrorist organization in diplomatic disguise," he added.