UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan reportedly rebuffed a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to pay unemployment stipends to Palestinian workers whom Israel barred from entering its territory after the October 7 Hamas terror attacks on the Jewish country.
“Ask Zelensky for money,” Al Nahyan sarcastically told Netanyahu, referring to the Ukranian President, Axios reported quoting unnamed sources.
According to Axios, Zayed sarcastically told Netanyahu to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for money to pay the stipend of the Palestinian workers. He suggested that Zelenskyy could pay for the workers with the foreign aid Ukraine was getting due to the war with Russia.
An Israeli official said that Netanyahu made the request to Al Nahyan a few weeks ago.
“The notion that Arab countries will come in to rebuild and pay the bill for what’s currently happening is wishful thinking,” an official from the UAE told Axios.
Although the Emirati President had said that he would extend help to Israel, he was “stunned” by this request, Axios said. That was because the Emirati ruler thought it was unusual that Israel was asking it to pay for a problem created by its war on the Palestinian territories.
Israel, it has been reported, wants the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to help rebuild Gaza after the war.
The position taken by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is in line with that of several Arab countries that have said that they wouldn’t foot the bill to maintain a status quo in the Palestinian territories after the war.
According to the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), over one lakh Palestinians from the West Bank had permits to travel to Israel for work before the Israel-Hamas war began. Israel prevented the entry of Palestinian workers into its territory after the October 7 Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 Israeli citizens.
The Israeli offensive has claimed more than 23,000 Palestinian lives, destroyed much of the tiny coastal enclave and displaced most of the population of 2.3 million, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis.
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Hamas war, Palestine, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy