By Qays Abu Samra
RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat on Monday blasted U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt for criticizing Palestinian protests in the Gaza Strip against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
“The U.S. administration’s defense of Israel and approving the killing of protesters in the Gaza Strip is incitement against Palestinian rights,” Erekat, the secretary of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement.
He said peace cannot be established in the Middle East without putting an end to the Israeli military occupation.
Last week, Greenblatt denounced Palestinian group Hamas for flying burning kites from the Gaza Strip into Israel as part of protests against the Israeli occupation.
“Hamas attack kites are not harmless playthings or metaphors for freedom. They are deployed as propaganda & indiscriminate weapons,” he tweeted. “Since the recent outbreak of violence, Hamas attack kites have started hundreds of fires, destroyed thousands of acres & wasted millions of dollars.”
Since March, more than 127 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli gunfire in anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip.
Erekat said Greenblatt should have at least expressed condolences to families of the Palestinian victims.
“He rather preferred to be an official spokesperson for Israel by supporting these crimes and heap the blame on the victim,” he said.