‘Ask Zelensky for money’: UAE refuses Netyanahu’s request to pay off 150,000 Palestinian workers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly Cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, February 13, 2011. UPI/Gali Tibbon/Pool

UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed reportedly rebuffed a request from Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu for Abu Dhabi to pay unemployment benefits to the Palestinian workers who Israel has refused to allow to return to their jobs since October 7.

According to the Axios news site, bin Zayed responded to Netanyahu’s request by sarcastically advising him to ask Ukrainian President Zelensky for financial assistance, given the substantial international support Kyiv had received following Russia’s invasion.

An Emirati official, speaking to Axios, dismissed the idea that Arab countries would step in to financially address the situation, characterising it as wishful thinking. The official indicated a reluctance among Arab nations to bear the responsibility for the fallout.

Before the Gaza bombardment, approximately 150,000 Palestinians from the West Bank held permits to work in Israel, as reported by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

According to a source familiar with the matter, bin Zayed was incredulous that Netanyahu assumed the UAE would be willing to cover the costs of a problem that arose due to Israel’s decision to prohibit the return of the Palestinian workers. The exchange highlighted the complex diplomatic dynamics and the challenges associated with regional cooperation in addressing the ongoing issues in the area.

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