US to Hamas: Stop terror and cease attacks on Israel, then receive aid

In a Washington Post opinion piece on Thursday, top Trump administration officials demanded that Hamas end its reign of terror and the “nightmare” it has visited on Palestinians in Gaza.

By: World Israel News Staff

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a detailed opinion piece targeting Hamas’ terror policies, authored by President Donald Trump’s special adviser Jared Kushner, his Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The article, titled “Help is at hand for Palestinians. It’s all up to Hamas,” begins, “At the end of a productive six-day trip to the region recently, one reality was painfully clear: The nightmare of Hamas’s leadership is continuing and needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

The authors lament Gaza’s poverty, unemployment, and “corrupt and hateful leadership,” which “billions of dollars invested for the benefit of Palestinians” have not ameliorated.

Pinpointing the primary cause of Gaza’s ills as Hamas’ diversion of aid money from badly needed infrastructure projects to nefarious ends, such as the purchase of weapons and other terror-based enterprises, “fighting a morally bankrupt, decades-old war that has long been lost,” Kushner, Greenblatt, and Friedman observe, “Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it.”

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The authors thus conclude, “Until governance changes, or Hamas recognizes the state of Israel, abides by previous diplomatic agreements and renounces violence, there is no good option.”

Among the demands presented to Hamas in the article is the following: “Hamas must immediately cease provoking or coordinating attacks on Israelis and Egyptians, and on infrastructure projects sponsored by donor nations and organizations. Rather than looking for opportunities to weaponize everything from kites to mirrors in order to attack Israel, Hamas should focus its ingenuity on improving the Gazan economy.”

Kushner, Greenblatt, and Friedman also call on Hamas to return Israeli soldiers’ bodies and living citizens, stop exploiting border crossings to smuggle weapons, and cease “siphon[ing] off tax revenue for illicit purposes and personal enrichment.”

The Washington Post opinion arrives in the run-up to the Trump administration’s release of its “deal of the century” Mideast peace plan.

In July, Kushner and Greenblatt visited a number of countries in the region, ostensibly to generate support for the plan. Palestinian officials, however, refused to meet with Trump’s envoys, maintaining a US boycott launched in December when Trump announced that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, signaling his intention to move the US’ embassy in Israel there.