PA Versus Trump Admin:
'Trump is blindly supporting Israel - we need foreign help'

Veteran PA official writes to foreign diplomats in Ramallah slamming Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt, says US parroting Israeli talking points.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 10:29 AM

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

A top Palestinian Authority official blasted President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, accusing the US official of adopting Israel’s position on key issues and serving as a de facto spokesman for the Israeli government.

Saeb Erekat, a veteran negotiator and spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, penned a letter to all foreign diplomats stationed in Ramallah, denouncing White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt, and urging the diplomats to press the International Criminal Court at The Hague to charge Israel over “ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestine”.

In the letter sent Thursday, which was first obtained by Haaretz, Erekat accused Greenblatt of adopting Israeli “talking points” and blaming “Palestinians under occupation” for the recent spate of violence in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.

“During the past few weeks, Mr. Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s envoy, has released several statements on the ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza whereby he has assumed the role of spokesperson of the Israeli Authorities,” wrote Erekat.

Tens of thousands of rioters have gathered on the Israeli-Gaza border, clashing with Israeli security personnel in a series of violent demonstrations which began on March 30th and are expected to run through May 15th. Thirty-three Gazans, including 14 with ties to terror groups including Hamas, have been killed while attempting to cross over into Israeli territory or commit attacks on Israeli forces.

Dubbed the “Great March of Return”, the demonstrations have prompted fears of infiltrations into Israeli towns along the Gaza frontier, leading the IDF to deploy snipers along the border. Israel has warned demonstrators not to approach the security fence, warning that soldiers will use live fire if necessary to prevent a breakthrough into Israeli territory.

The Hamas terror organization, which rules the Gaza Strip, has encouraged residents to participate in the violent clashes.

On Wednesday, Greenblatt condemned Hamas and called on the group to relinquish control of the Gaza Strip.

In his letter to diplomats in Ramallah, Erekat slammed Greenblatt for his criticism of Hamas, accusing him of parroting “Israeli talking points”.

“He has consistently repeated Israeli talking points, blaming Palestinians under occupation, omitting any word of condemnation against Israeli incitement, attacks or overall policies in occupied Palestine.”

“What the US administration has done on the issue of Gaza is to reaffirm Israeli convictions that it can continue to act with impunity.”

Erekat further accused the Trump administration of dismissing the “value” of Palestinian lives, warning that Trump’s soon-to-be-released peace plan for the Mideast would fail to bring a “just and lasting peace”.

“It is clear that those who do not consider that the lives of Palestinians and Israelis are of equal value cannot possibly promote any plan that will be remotely close to a just and lasting peace. Rather, the Trump administration continues to adopt Israeli positions that aim to perpetuate the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

The PA negotiator called on diplomats operating in Ramallah to press their respective governments to advance PA demands for anti-Israel measures in the United Nations and the prosecution of Israeli officials by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“Despite the fact that the US administration has decided to blindly support the crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation, we believe that the international community has tools to hold Israel, the occupying power, accountable.”

Erekat reaffirmed that the PA “will not accept a US role as a broker or mediator for peace”, saying that the US had “totally disqualified itself from playing such a role.”