Palestinians say US envoy resigning 'admission of failure'

This handout picture from US Embassy in Jerusalem shows Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt (R, pictured May 2019), who worked alongside Jared Kushner (C) on the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo/Matty Stern)

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - The resignation Thursday of US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy is an "admission of failure" for the White House's much-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, a senior Palestinian official said.

Jason Greenblatt worked alongside Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner on the plan, which has been rejected in advance by the Palestinians.

"I think it is a final admission of failure," senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said when asked about Greenblatt stepping down.

"They tried to bash the Palestinians into submission, to blackmail us to accept whatever their plan was. From the beginning it was doomed to failure," she told AFP.

"I think the Palestinians as a whole are going to say 'good riddance'. He was an apologist for the most extreme, hardline government in the history of Israel."

Islamist group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, said Greenblatt's resignation was "good news" and a sign of the Kushner team's "failure".

"Hopefully this will push the current administration to review its position and vision of conflict resolution here, for the sake of stability and security in the region," said Hamas spokesman Bassem Naim.

Last week Greenblatt said the plan would not be released until after the September 17 Israeli election that will decide whether Trump ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power.

A senior US official said Greenblatt was leaving to spend more time with his family but left on good terms and "holds the confidence of the president".

Netanyahu thanked Greenblatt "for his dedicated work for security and peace and for never hesitating to tell the truth about the state of Israel to its detractors."