“Hamas literally undermines Gaza’s chance for success—building a terror tunnel under a crossing to Israel that should be a conduit toward a better economy,” Greenblatt said of Hamas’ terrorism.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, on Sunday toured the area surrounding the Gaza Strip and received a comprehensive security briefing from IDF officers, during which he slammed Hamas for investing in terrorism instead of in the people of Gaza.
“I am deeply angered by Hamas’ continued terror activity, including the digging of tunnels that facilitate terrorist activities,” Greenblatt stated, adding that “such activities show Hamas’ continued exploitation of the people of Gaza and Hamas’ threats to stability and security in the region.”
Greenblatt said the tour, which included a visit to a terror tunnel destroyed by the IDF, gave him “general insight into the current situation and greatly improved [his] understanding.”
“I strongly encourage all countries and institutional donors who are trying to assist the people of Gaza to take this tour to understand this difficult, tragic and complex situation,” he said, calling on them to work together to “help the people of Gaza, ensure Israel’s and Egypt’s security, and improve lives.”
He again called on Hamas to return the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and to release the Israeli civilians they are holding — Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima.
“This is a humanitarian issue and Hamas must return all Israelis,” he stated.
Greenblatt met last week with the families whose loved ones are being held captive by Hamas in Gaza. “These families are suffering unbearable pain as a result of the shameful, despicable acts of Hamas. All Israelis must be returned and I pray for their families,” Greenblatt tweeted after the meeting.
He has been working with Israel on various projects and policy measures that will improve life in the Gaza Strip.
“I sincerely hope that the international community will commit to funding these measures according to development priorities and providing the necessary resources to bring them to fruition,” he added.
Time to Stop Pouring Money into Violence and Hatred
On Monday, Greenblatt again assailed Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, tweeting that “Hamas literally undermines Gaza’s chance for success—building a terror tunnel under a crossing to Israel that should be a conduit toward a better economy.”
He was referring to a Hamas plot recently exposed by Israel to blow up the Kerem Shalom crossing, a main economic artery into Gaza.
He also pointed out that “a terror tunnel costs roughly $5.9 million to build ($ that belongs to the people of Gaza) plus roughly $30,000 a day in lost revenue when the crossing [between Israel and Gaza is closed as a result” of security threats.
“Gaza needs options besides Hamas and its enablers. Time to stop pouring money into violence and hatred, and to start investing in a real future for Palestinians in Gaza,” he tweeted.
President Reuven Rivlin last week visited the Gaza border area, where he stated that “the entire world must know and understand that the ones who are preventing rehabilitation are Hamas,” which rules the Gaza Strip and invests in terrorism, rather than in its population.
The Israeli leader further warned that “the time is coming near, when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water, and epidemics. The entire world must know and understand that the ones who are preventing rehabilitation are Hamas.”
“Israel is the only one in the region, that whatever the situation, transfers basic essentials to the residents of Gaza, so that they can sustain the body and mind,” Rivlin said, adding that Israel will “not tolerate accusations of blame.”
He called on “all world nations, to all who are able, and have the influence, to pressure those ruling Gaza, to pressure Hamas, to accept responsibility for their actions and the lives of their people.”
Israel has repeatedly warned that Hamas is investing heavily in its terror infrastructure rather than in building Gaza, and has exposed several cases in which Hamas has exploited humanitarian aid organizations to promote its vast terrorism machine.
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