The Emirates' top diplomat on Monday defended the country's decision to maintain ties with Israel despite growing concerns over the war in Gaza.
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The United Arab Emirates and Israel established diplomatic relations in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, making them one of the few Arab countries to recognize Israel.
Despite maintaining ties with Israel since the Israel-Hamas war began in October, the UAE has struggled to express solidarity with the Palestinians amid growing anger in the Arab world over the conflict. There is.
Speaking at the World Government Summit, an annual gathering of business and political leaders in Dubai, Rana Nuceibeh pointed out the benefits of cooperation with Israel.
“Thanks to that cooperation… we have a field hospital in Gaza and a maritime hospital docked in Egypt's Al Arish port,” said UAE Ambassador to the United Nations Nusseibeh.
“For the people of Gaza, that is not enough. What we need… is a humanitarian ceasefire and a two-state solution,” she added.
“Do we get it by talking to people who agree with us? No, we get it by talking to people who don't agree with us. The UAE will always be proud to do that.”
The bloodiest war in history in the Gaza Strip began on October 7 when Hamas launched an unprecedented offensive into southern Israel, resulting in mostly civilian casualties, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Approximately 1,160 people died.
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas and has responded with relentless attacks in the Gaza Strip, which have killed at least 28,340 people, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza Strip's Ministry of Health.
In recent days, the UAE has joined several Arab Gulf states in warning Israel against launching an attack on Rafah, the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip, where some 1.4 million people have fled.
“The UAE is very concerned at this point,” Nusseibeh said.
“Any military operation in Rafah will have unacceptable consequences,” the diplomat added.
Nusseibeh, who organized an unofficial visit by a UN special envoy to the Rafah crossing last year, called for a two-state solution, arguing that it is important for rebuilding Gaza.
“We cannot deny the Palestinians their right to statehood. That is the consensus of Arabs,” she said.
“The participation of regional partners in[Gaza's]reconstruction requires irreversible progress towards a two-state solution.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shown no interest in restarting negotiations for a Palestinian state.
Nusseibeh added that the UAE has spent billions of dollars on development projects in both the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank over the past 30 years.
But “we can't keep giving refunds and watch everything we've built get destroyed,” she said.
“We need to take a series of confidence-building measures, including towards Israel,” Nusseibeh added.