The UAE announced on 16 October that President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is in contact with Arab and foreign leaders to stop the violence in Gaza Strip and to mobilize international efforts to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.
The Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported, “The contacts included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.”
The agency noted that “Bin Zayed stressed, during the communications, the priority of preserving the lives of civilians and not being thrown into the cycle of violence and escalating conflict and exercising legal responsibility, which guarantees their protection and safety, especially children, women and the elderly during conflicts and the release of detained hostages.”
On 7 October, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel which saw the group launch thousands of rockets and take over 150 Israeli captives back to Gaza as bargaining chips to free Palestinian prisoners.
In response, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated, “We are putting a complete siege on Gaza … No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed.”
Israel launched a bombing campaign on Gaza, which has destroyed whole neighborhoods and killed 2,750 Palestinians and wounded 9,700 more, including hundreds of women and children. Israel also bombed the Rafah crossing with Egypt to prevent Cairo from delivering humanitarian aid.
The Emirati President stressed “the necessity of opening urgent humanitarian corridors to transport medical and relief aid to the Gaza Strip without obstacles, and facilitating mechanisms to provide the necessary protection for these corridors and enabling the relevant humanitarian organizations to carry out their responsibilities, in a way that ensures that the suffering that the Strip is witnessing does not worsen as a result of the escalating violence, in light of the presence of … More than two million people, the vast majority of whom are innocent civilians and not involved in the ongoing conflict.”
The UAE normalized relations with Israel in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords. As the Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza continues, this exposes the Gulf monarchy to criticism at home and abroad.
For the time being, the UAE and other Abraham Accord signers are navigating this “very uncomfortable” situation by “focusing on the idea of protecting civilians,” said Cinzia Bianco, Gulf specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
However, Joseph Bahout, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in Beirut explained the tactic would “not hold for long in the face of Israeli reprisals,” which have killed more Palestinians in one week than were killed in the 51-day war between Hamas and Israel in 2014.
On 12 October, the UAE Ministry of Defense denied the allegations circulated by some international media that US military aircraft has arrived at the Al-Dhafra Air Base in the UAE to provide support to Israel.
Source : TheCradle