WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump’s chief envoy to the Middle East peace process has offered a message of praise to Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for helping to facilitate an agreement “to restore calm in Gaza” and laying the groundwork for the Palestinian Authority to reassume control of the coastal strip.

Leadership in Ramallah “cannot criticize from the sidelines” as Egypt staves off another war there between Israel and Hamas, said Jason Greenblatt, who in recent weeks has increased the volume of his criticisms of the PA.

The PA cut off contact with Greenblatt and his team after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital late last year.

“The Palestinian Authority should be part of the solution for the Palestinians of Gaza and Palestinians as a whole,” Greenblatt said. “If not, others will fill that void.”

“Leadership is about making hard choices,” he continued. “The people of Gaza, and Israelis in the area around Gaza, have suffered for far too long. It is time for the Palestinian Authority to lead the Palestinian people – all Palestinians – to a better future.”

Palestinian officials have accused Egypt and Israel of circumventing them in their Gaza talks. Sisi and Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly met to discuss the crisis there in recent weeks.