Israeli President Seeks Support from UAE in Efforts to Secure Release of Hostages

Israeli President Seeks Support from UAE in Efforts to Secure Release of Hostages

Abu Dhabi - Israeli President Isaac Herzog sought assistance from United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in securing the release of Israeli hostages held by the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

During a meeting in Dubai on Thursday, Herzog appealed to Sheikh Mohamed to utilize his "political weight" to expedite the return of the hostages, following the October 7 cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen. Despite Herzog's largely ceremonial role, the urgency of the situation prompted the request, emphasizing the close ties established under the 2020 Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE.

Herzog, attending the U.N. climate summit in Dubai, discussed the aftermath of the Hamas attack, which Israel claims took the lives of around 1,200 individuals and led to approximately 240 hostages being taken into Gaza. The UAE, as a regional power, has been approached for support, although Qatar and Egypt have been mediating between Israel and Hamas in previous efforts, resulting in the release of 99 Israelis and foreigners.

The Israeli statement also highlighted previous collaboration between Israel and the UAE, including facilitating aid into Gaza and providing medical assistance through the construction of a field hospital at Gaza's Rafah border.

The UAE has condemned both the Hamas attack and Israel's actions in Gaza but intends to maintain its diplomatic relationship with Israel, emphasizing the significant economic and security cooperation established since the Abraham Accords.

The meeting between Herzog and Sheikh Mohamed also covered discussions on mutual interests and relations between their respective countries, showcasing the evolving dynamics in the Middle East since the establishment of official diplomatic ties in 2020.

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