The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Sunday directly condemning the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas for a wave of bloody terror that has left more than 700 people dead since Saturday morning, urging the region to avoid following the group towards “nihilistic destruction”. .”
The United Arab Emirates is one of the richest and most influential explicitly Islamic governments in the world. Abu Dhabi’s condemnation of Hamas and its condolences to the predominantly Jewish victims of Hamas’s rapes, kidnappings and massacres on Saturday contrast dramatically with the tone in neighboring Iran – where the regime held a street party to celebrate the killings , with fireworks – and the eruption of pro-Hamas rallies and celebrations around the world, including in the United States.
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In the official statement, the ministry “stressed that Hamas’ attacks on Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza Strip, including the firing of thousands of rockets on population centers, constitute a serious and serious escalation.”
“The ministry is dismayed by reports that Israeli civilians have been kidnapped as hostages from their homes,” the Emirati government said. “Civilians on both sides must always enjoy full protection under international humanitarian law and must never be targets of conflict. »
The government also assured to send “its condolences to the families of the victims and to urge (…) all diplomatic efforts to prevent a wider regional confrontation”. He encouraged Israel and Palestinian groups to seek to “de-escalate and avoid an expansion of heinous violence with tragic consequences affecting civilian lives and facilities.”
The statement ends with a call for other countries in the region and the world to avoid following Hamas in considering crimes against humanity as a valid political option. He also said the country was “in close contact” with relevant partners, likely including Israel.
“The UAE reaffirmed that the international community must remain resolute in the face of these violent attempts to derail ongoing regional efforts aimed at dialogue, cooperation and coexistence,” he said, “and must not allow nihilistic destruction to take hold of a region whose people have already suffered enough from war and trauma.
Hamas terrorists swept through residential neighborhoods and mass events, including a music festival, in Israel on Saturday, opening fire on civilians, kidnapping families from their homes and desecrating corpses on video. At press time, Israeli authorities confirmed that more than 700 people had been killed and more than 2,200 injured. As of press time, an unknown number of civilians are still being kidnapped by Hamas terrorists; we don’t know if they are alive or dead.
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The attack, which remains a permanent siege of the country, resulted in what experts have identified as the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Israel officially declared itself in a state of war on Sunday, the first time in half a century. The Palestinian terrorist attack occurred on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the last day of the annual High Holiday cycle.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Sunday that left-wing President Joe Biden’s administration believes Americans were killed and kidnapped during the siege. Blinken’s State Department initially responded to initial reports of the attacks by urging Israel not to defend itself.
“We unequivocally condemn the attack by Hamas terrorists and the resulting loss of life. We urge all parties to refrain from violence and reprisals. Terror and violence solve nothing,” the State Department’s Bureau of Palestinian Affairs wrote on Twitter on Saturday, in a since-deleted tweet.
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The UAE’s unequivocal condemnation of Hamas follows a rapid warming of relations between Israel and the UAE that began with the Abraham Accords, a series of agreements signed under former President Donald Trump in 2020. The Abraham Accords brought Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain together at the White House to move forward with normalizing relations, including exchanging diplomats and expanding trade.
The UAE opened its embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, in July 2021, a week after the Israeli government opened an embassy in the Emirati capital.
“This is just the beginning. Both countries are innovative nations and we will harness these new approaches for the prosperity of the countries,” UAE Ambassador Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah said at the time.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog made a historic visit to Abu Dhabi next January to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, saying the UAE was helping Israel send “a message to the entire region that there is an alternative for peace and live together, and that the sons and daughters of Abraham can reside and dwell together in peaceful coexistence for the good of humanity.
In May 2022, Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi signed a free trade agreement, the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab country.
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Civil and military cooperation has grown considerably since the signing of the Abraham Accords. In February, the two countries announced that they had collaborated on the development of an unmanned naval vessel for surveillance, useful in protecting both countries from the rogue Islamist regime of Iran, the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
A Hamas spokesperson confirmed to the BBC on Saturday evening that Iran had offered direct support for this weekend’s killings.
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