‘The Gallant Knight’: Humanitarian Initiatives Reach Gaza 

From Afghanistan to Palestine, passing through Syria and Turkey, the Emirati initiative “Gallant Knight” travels the world to provide humanitarian support to those in need.

Cross-border aid alleviates the suffering of the afflicted and helps those affected by wars, conflicts, and natural disasters, solidifying the UAE‘s position as a capital of humanity. It also crowns its record of achievements as a unique model of goodness and humanitarian giving.

Humanitarian efforts continue within a unique humanitarian approach that aims to lend a helping hand to people in difficult circumstances. This is part of the UAE’s strategy of humanitarian brotherhood, which prioritizes “humanity first” without discrimination based on geography, ethnicity, or religion.

Emirati initiatives are implemented in line with the guidance of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, bringing hope, reassurance, and tranquility to those in need and the afflicted around the world. They embody the UAE’s steadfast values and principles in assisting and supporting peoples in distress.

Through these initiatives, the UAE and its wise leadership affirm their commitment to remain at the forefront of nations in providing humanitarian aid to all the world’s peoples, regardless of circumstances. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan previously stated that “the UAE will remain a symbol of assistance and relief in times of hardship and a source of inspiration in humanitarian work.”

He emphasized that the UAE “will spare no effort in fulfilling its humanitarian missions based on the values of giving, charity, and the establishment of humanitarian brotherhood and solidarity with peoples in various circumstances and challenges.”

The “Gallant Knight 1” operation was launched in August 2021 to evacuate citizens of various nationalities from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of power. This was followed by “Gallant Knight 2” in February of last year to support those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, before “Gallant Knight 3” was launched in November of the current year to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Gallant Knight 3: Support for Gaza 

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, ordered the Joint Operations at the Ministry of Defense to initiate the humanitarian operation “Gallant Knight 3” to support the Palestinian people in Gaza.

To expedite the humanitarian directive, the President of the UAE ordered the Joint Operations in cooperation and comprehensive coordination with the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works, and the Zayed bin Sultan Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works, along with other humanitarian and charitable institutions in the UAE, to provide humanitarian support to the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Additionally, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan instructed the opening of volunteer opportunities for doctors registered with the Ministry of Health and the Health Department of Abu Dhabi, along with volunteering opportunities for individuals registered with the Red Crescent and Emirati humanitarian and charitable organizations.

This comes after days of the President of the UAE’s directive to host a thousand Palestinian children and their families from the Gaza Strip, providing them with all the medical and healthcare care they need in the state’s hospitals until they recover and return.

Initiatives continue to form a comprehensive humanitarian epic to support the people of Gaza, initiated by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the early days of the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. He directed the provision of urgent aid to Palestinian brothers with an amount of $20 million, in addition to launching the “Compassion for Gaza” initiative, which has collected hundreds of tons of relief aid since its launch in the middle of last month.

Since the escalation in Gaza on October 7th of last year, the UAE’s political, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts have not ceased around the clock to stop the war, protect all civilians, provide humanitarian support, and find a comprehensive path to peace.

The Gallant Knight 2: Support for Turkey and Syria

The launch of the “Gallant Knight 3” operation comes approximately four months after the completion of the “Gallant Knight 2” operation, which was initiated under the guidance of the UAE leadership to alleviate the suffering of friends and brothers in Turkey and Syria following the earthquake that struck both countries on February 6th of the past year.

This initiative embodied the highest forms of solidarity and humanitarian brotherhood, led by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates. It positioned the UAE at the forefront of the world’s supporting nations for both the Turkish and Syrian people, with donations exceeding $150 million, including $50 million for Turkey.

On July 13th of the past year, the Joint Operations Command at the Ministry of Defense announced the completion of the “Gallant Knight 2” operation, which was executed based on the directives of the President of the UAE, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the Zayed bin Sultan Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works, and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works. The operation aimed to support the brothers and friends affected by the devastating earthquake in both Syria and Turkey and lasted for more than five months.

The “Gallant Knight 2” operation, launched on February 6th, 2023, is one of the most successful unified operations carried out by UAE national institutions. Its priorities were defined in coordination with the authorities in the affected countries, reflecting the prominent humanitarian approach of the UAE and the implementation of the directives of our wise leadership in supporting brothers and friends.

The operation resulted in the rescue of dozens of individuals from under the rubble and the treatment of 13,463 cases. In addition, it provided humanitarian aid amounting to 15,164 tons through an air bridge organized for 260 flights, carrying 6,912 tons of urgent aid materials, including tents, essential food, and medications. Furthermore, 8,252 tons of humanitarian aid materials were transported using four cargo ships to deliver relief and reconstruction materials to the affected areas.

The UAE sent medical supplies, relief items, food, search and rescue teams, equipment for rubble removal, medical teams, and established field hospitals for treating the injured in the Gaziantep region and another in Hatay.

On April 27th of the past year, the President of Turkey awarded the “State Medal for Sacrifice” to the “Gallant Knight 2” operation team as an honor and appreciation for the efforts of the United Arab Emirates in search and rescue operations in the earthquake-affected areas.

Syria, through several officials, emphasized that the Syrian people will not forget the humanitarian stances and initiatives led by the United Arab Emirates. Damascus underlined that the Syrian people do not view the United Arab Emirates solely as a state of progress, civilization, and modernity, but first and foremost as a nation characterized by values, principles, and ethics. The UAE’s people adhere to the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the directives of its wise leadership, setting an example in generosity, love, and lofty ideals.

The Gallant Knight 1… International Praises

The first operations of the Brave Persians were launched in Afghanistan in August 2021 to evacuate nationals of various countries from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of power.

The United Arab Emirates played a significant and essential role in evacuating approximately 40,000 people, including Afghans and foreign nationals, following the Taliban’s takeover of power in August 2021. This included citizens of France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Latvia, Spain, Mexico, and others.

The UAE did not stop at assisting the world’s countries in evacuating their nationals from Afghanistan under the current circumstances. It also agreed to host 9,000 Afghan citizens who were evacuated from Afghanistan, temporarily hosting them before they moved to other countries.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan himself inspected the Emirati Humanitarian City, which temporarily hosted Afghan families evacuated from Afghanistan on their way to other countries.

The UAE also organized humanitarian and relief aid airlifts to Afghanistan.

In light of these exceptional efforts, the Afghan people and the Taliban expressed their gratitude to the UAE.

Many world leaders, including President Joe Biden of the United States, leaders of Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and New Zealand, also expressed their gratitude to the UAE for its efforts in helping them evacuate their nationals from Afghanistan.

International appreciation continues, acknowledging the leading role of the United Arab Emirates and its leaders in supporting humanitarian, relief, and development work. This crowns the humanitarian achievements that have extended over 52 years since the UAE’s establishment, during which the UAE’s foreign aid reached 320 billion dirhams in 201 countries.

Throughout these long years, the UAE has succeeded in making a difference in the field of humanitarian work, which has been translated into reality by holding the first place in the world for many years as the largest foreign aid donor in the world in terms of its national income.

Day after day, and initiative after initiative, the UAE proves that its humanity is always present, answering the call of duty in various parts of the world. Its sons and daughters lead the frontlines in the caravans of goodness and humanitarian giving to aid the needy, help those in distress, and secure a better life for people, without regard to color, race, or religion.

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