1,000 Gaza children to start arriving in UAE within a week for treatment

Emirati diplomat highlights how the country will use extended humanitarian pauses to implement relief efforts on the ground

by

Sahim Salim

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 11:37 PM

The UN Security Council’s adoption of the first resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict will help the UAE receive 1,000 Palestinian children and their families from Gaza for medical care in the country. “That work has already begun, and we hope to receive the first group within the coming week,” said Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the UN, as she addressed the council.

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had directed that injured Palestinian children from Gaza be flown in for treatment at Emirati hospitals.

The UN body charged with ensuring international peace and security adopted a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” in Gaza for “a sufficient number of days” — six weeks after the war started.

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The resolution is “vital” for the UAE to establish an emergency field hospital in the Gaza strip, said the Emirati diplomat. The UAE has already flown the medical equipment and supplies required to set up the field hospital to Al Arish Airport in Egypt. Extended humanitarian pauses will help the country establish the 150-bed hospital.

The UAE welcomed the adoption of the resolution — “the first one on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2016”. However, it marks only the beginning of the world’s response to the war and the crisis in Gaza, said Nusseibeh.

“Too much time has passed, too many people have been killed, and too much destruction has been wrought,” said Nusseibeh.

Attack on Al Shifa Hospital

The diplomat stressed that Israel must cease attacks on civilians and civilian objects. “They must uphold the special protections afforded, by international law, to hospitals and schools; and they must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.”

She reiterated the UAE’s condemnation of Israel’s raid on the Al Shifa Hospital. “It is precisely this type of military action that today’s resolution rejects. Hospitals are sacrosanct spaces that must be protected. We’ve all received countless, unbearable messages of despair from medical workers in these hospitals, who have stayed and are pleading for their patients to be protected.”

Two-state solution

Over the last 40 days, almost 200 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank as a result of settler violence and raids, said the envoy. “This must stop and Israel must hold those committing these attacks fully accountable.”

She called on the security council to resolve this conflict. “Over the last decade, there have been increasingly vocal warnings and signs that the Two-State solution is on its deathbed. What emerges from the ruins of Gaza may be our last chance to save it. But it will need all of us to continue working together, like we have done here today, to resurrect it. The fate of peace and security in our region is a shared responsibility and not the burden of a few.”

She stressed that Israel has the “absolute right” to security and peace free from the attacks like the one done by Hamas on October 7, “but so does a future Palestine”.

“Israel’s security, genuine and lasting, will remain elusive if it’s built on the continued denial of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination. Any policy that seeks to obscure that fact is doomed to failure,” she added.

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