Greenblatt: Hamas cynically risking lives

U.S. special envoy blasts Hamas ahead of a planned attempt to breach Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza.

Elad Benari ,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt
Reuters

Jason Greenblatt, the United States’ Special Representative for International Negotiations, blasted Hamas ahead of a planned attempt by Gazans to breach Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza.

In a series of tweets, Greenblatt wrote, “Shame on all involved in inciting the so called ‘reverse flotilla’ today. Hamas treats this like a play being acted out for a live media audience. But these are real lives Hamas is cynically risking in a grim bid to hold on to power.”

He continued, “There is no shortcut for a better future for all people in the region. Hamas must stop with deadly theatrics needlessly putting lives at risk and begin the process of building better lives for the Palestinians of Gaza and their neighbors.”

“Each life Hamas jeopardizes represents a family and a community. The loss of one life would be awful enough, but through their cynical ‘leadership’ Hamas is risking many lives and is extinguishing an entire generation's future,” charged the American envoy.

“Hamas was elected by the Palestinians in 2006 and since then Gaza has spiraled into one of the worst places on earth yet Hamas leadership has blamed everyone else for their problems. Gaza will only turn around when there is real leadership.”

“Hamas has misappropriated billions of dollars of aid and bought missiles instead of food and built terror tunnels instead of schools and hospitals. This Flotilla is one more step backwards for Hamas, and their leadership is dragging the Palestinians of Gaza with them,” concluded Greenblatt.

The organizers of the latest flotilla announced on Sunday that the boat would depart on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) and would carry patients needing medical care, students and job-seeking university graduates.

The organizers added it would be the first attempt of its kind from the Gaza Strip. Its intended destination was not announced.

Israel has imposed a naval blockade on Gaza for over a decade, meant to prevent weapons from being transferred into the hands of Gaza terrorists.

Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers continuously claim the enclave is under an “Israeli siege”. This is despite the fact that Israel regularly allows humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza and does so even though Gaza terrorists continue to attack southern Israel with rockets and openly threaten to destroy the Jewish state.

There have been previous attempts to break the naval blockade on Gaza. The most notable was the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, in which nine Turkish Islamists were killed as they ignored Israeli calls to turn the vessel around and dock at the Ashdod Port.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that there was no humanitarian aid whatsoever aboard the Marmara despite the Islamists’ claims otherwise.

There have been numerous other similar attempts to break the blockade on Gaza. Most recently, a similar initiative scheduled for June was announced by the head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe.

The initiative announced Sunday comes weeks after 60 Gazans were killed in violent riots along the Gaza-Israel border. Hamas admitted that most of those killed were members of the group.



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