US Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt emphasized the need to not let the Hamas terrorist organization “off the hook,” while addressing an international conference in the White House on Tuesday that focused on solving humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip.
“I want to be clear. The goal here is not to let Hamas off the hook and create a situation similar to what exists in Lebanon today,” Greenblatt said.
“We need to be sure that the projects and assistance are appropriately conditioned to avoid such an outcome.”
Greenblatt also recommended that all those participating in the conference visit the nearby areas where underground terror tunnels built by Hamas, were discovered.
“I would like to suggest that we visit the border between Gaza and Israel and Gaza and Egypt together, and take a tour given by the Israelis and Egyptians to see the significant challenges that Egypt and Israel face, including the attack tunnels built by Hamas,” he continued.
“It is essential to tour these areas and meet these people to understand this terribly complex and tragic situation,” he added. “Perhaps, after understanding those challenges, we can come up with other realistic ideas.”
There was a diverse array of diplomats at Tuesday’s conference all of whom represented relevant actors. Not only did representatives come from Israel, Egypt, the United Nations and European Union but also from several countries in the region that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Palestinian Authority however, still angry about the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, did not show up in protest.
“We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today,” Greenblatt said. “This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety, and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis, and Egyptians.”