Hamas Blasts Kushner as 'Spokesman for Israeli Occupation'

Rulers of Gaza hit back after op-ed by Trump aides blames the group for the plight of Palestinians and urges it to abandon violence

Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser, is seen during a meeting between Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, not pictured, and Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign minister, not pictured, in Mexico City, Mexico, on Friday, July 13, 2018.
Bloomberg

An op-ed by Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, shows that American officials are "mere spokesmen for the Israeli occupation," a Hamas spokesman said Friday.

 "Kushner and Greenblatt are adopting the Israeli narrative, and their aggression against Hamas points to the contempt of the American government," said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. 

The opinion article published in the Washington Post called on Hamas to take clear steps towards peace if it wishes to receive economic assistance, in an op-ed published Friday in the Washington Post.

"Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it," read the op-ed, which was also credited to Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special Mideast envoy, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel. "There are engaged, interested parties with resources who are ready to get to work. Yet without real change accompanied by reliable security, progress is impossible."

The article emphasizes the economic factor in the peace process, writing: "International donors are conflicted: Should they try to help the people directly, at the certain risk of enriching terrorists, or withhold funding to Hamas and watch the people it is supposed to govern suffer?"

The authors also assert: "There is no reason the Palestinians (in both the West Bank and Gaza) can’t enjoy economic success and integrate into a thriving regional economy — if they let us help."

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Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman also link potential aid to Hamas' stance towards Israel: "Seventy years after the founding of Israel, it would be wise for Hamas to acknowledge that the existence of Israel is a permanent reality. Almost all in the Middle East have come to accept this fact, and many even embrace it. At the expense of the Palestinian people, Hamas is fighting a morally bankrupt, decades-old war that has long been lost [. . .] The cycle is clear: Rockets, mortars, terror tunnels, kite bombs and other weapons of aggression lead only to stricter constraints on the people of Gaza. Hamas’s acts of aggression have only produced misery for the people of Gaza. The true victims of this terrible situation are the many Palestinians who are not rioting but whose futures are dimmed by Hamas’s radical approach."