Netanyahu, US Envoys Discuss Aid for Gaza ‘without Strengthening Hamas’

PM Netanyahu & Amb. Dermer meet with senior American officials. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO)

The world has repeatedly expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, but Israel has repeatedly pointed out the real problem: the Hamas terrorist group, which uses aid and resources entering Gaza for building up military facilities and weapons to attack Israel. So in talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States envoys last Friday, solving the conundrum of helping Gazans and not Hamas was part of a discussion on the overall situation in Gaza, which lately has teetered towards war with Israel. Netanyahu left the talks feeling supported by their ally the United States.

“I must say that there was absolute support for our positions and our actions to ensure the security of the State of Israel and its citizens in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, which was expressed publicly by the American administration’s envoys,” Netanyahu relayed on Sunday to his cabinet in comments published by his office. “The issue also came up of how it might be possible to resolve the humanitarian problem in Gaza without strengthening Hamas. These matters are clear–first of all how to ensure security and how to prevent a broader flare-up, if it is at all possible.”

The White House website published a similar summary in their own press release on the meeting, in which it said the sides “discussed the means by which the humanitarian situation in Gaza can be alleviated, while maintaining Israel’s security.”

The conversation was attended by Jared Kushner—senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump—Special Representative for International Negotiations Jared Greenblatt and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The Israel-Palestinian peace process, currently dormant, was also discussed.

Kushner, meanwhile, “has no reason not to believe” that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is “committed to peace,” but that he does question Abbas’ willingness or ability to “lean into finishing a deal,” according to an interview he gave to the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds.

A transcript of the interview was released by the White House and re-published by The New York Times. Kushner said in the article that if Abbas continues to refuse to meet with the US envoys, they will just go ahead and release their much-researched Middle East peace plan to the public.

Kushner said they would be ready to publicize the plan “soon” and acknowledged both sides would need to make compromises. While noting that Arab leaders want a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, Kushner refused to give any details about the American plan, aside from economic components that would better the lives of the Palestinians.

In the interview, Kushner also laid the blame for Gaza’s humanitarian troubles on the leadership in Gaza. He called for a ceasefire that would provide Israel and Egypt the comfortability to expand the amount of resources that can enter Gaza. However, Kushner  recognized that a blockade would continue as long as Gaza terrorists continue to fire rockets at Israel and dig terror tunnels into the Jewish State.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 24, 2018)

What do you think?