US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Emirati President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, discussed the developments in Gaza amid Israeli military escalation and ways to ensure the protection of civilians. The UAE, which has recently sent urgent humanitarian aid to Gaza, is working on providing humanitarian corridors for aid delivery.
The UAE news agency (WAM) stated, “During the meeting, both parties emphasized the utmost priority of ensuring full protection for civilians, the necessity of urgently opening humanitarian corridors for the delivery of medical and relief aid to Gaza, alongside an immediate cessation of all forms of escalation.”
Sheikh Mohamed also discussed with Blinken, who was on a regional tour amid the most dangerous escalation that could escalate into a regional war, the need to intensify regional and international diplomatic efforts to contain the situation and prevent the expansion of the conflict and worsening conditions, and to prevent further violence and crises in the region.
The Emirati agency reported that both sides also discussed the importance of working towards a clear political horizon to ensure a just and comprehensive peace that solidifies regional security and stability, emphasizing their shared commitment to promoting stability in the Middle East.
These talks between the Emirati President and the US Secretary of State come in the wake of the worst and most severe Israeli attack on Gaza in response to the “Storm Al-Aqsa” operation carried out by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, over a week ago, joined by other Palestinian factions. This attack is the worst Israel has faced since the October 1973 war, resulting in hundreds of casualties, while the Israeli army continues to carry out airstrikes on the territory, depriving it of water, food, electricity, and fuel.
Gaza is facing a humanitarian catastrophe with dwindling fuel and food supplies, while Gaza’s hospitals are overwhelmed with thousands of casualties and bodies. The Hamas-affiliated Ministry of Health warned that the fuel for electricity is running out, and hospitals are unable to accommodate the vast number of civilian casualties, suffering from a shortage of medications and medical supplies.
The UAE sent an aircraft loaded with urgent medical aid to El Arish Airport in Egypt last Friday, awaiting its entry into Gaza. This initiative is part of the UAE‘s ongoing efforts to provide relief to the Palestinian people in the face of unprecedented humanitarian conditions, as stated by the United Nations.
The official UAE news agency quoted Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Development and Organizations, saying, “This initiative is part of the UAE’s continuous efforts to provide relief to our Palestinian brothers in various conditions,” emphasizing Abu Dhabi‘s fraternal positions and steadfast approach to supporting our brethren in different circumstances.
He pointed out “the medical aid sent by the state in coordination with Egypt, awaiting urgent entry into Gaza, aims to alleviate the humanitarian suffering faced by the people of the territory, especially children and women.”
Israel has repeatedly stated its refusal to allow the entry of humanitarian medical and relief aid to Gaza until all prisoners held by Hamas, most of whom are soldiers and settlers, including foreign nationals, are released.