The UAE said on Thursday that it will treat 1,000 Palestinian youngsters from Gaza, without specifying how they would leave the Israeli-occupied territory for the Gulf state.
In reprisal for an Oct. 7 onslaught by Islamist Hamas that killed 1,400 Israelis, Israel has tightened its embargo and blasted Gaza for over four weeks.
According to the Gaza health ministry, Israeli strikes have killed 8,796 Palestinians, including 3,648 children, since October 7.
Apart from the closed border crossings with Israel, Gaza’s border with Egypt has been largely closed since Oct. 7, although several hundred foreign nationals and a small number of injured Palestinians have crossed into Egypt since Wednesday.
Qatar mediated the arrangement that allowed some individuals to leave Gaza, and a diplomatic source indicated that 7,500 foreign passport holders will depart in the next two weeks.
According to the UAE’s state news outlet WAM, President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has authorized hospitals to treat 1,000 Palestinian youngsters “accompanied by their families” from Gaza.
It was not immediately clear whether those children and their families would be able to leave Gaza under the deal brokered by Qatar, which involved Israel and the United States.
The Emirati foreign ministry did not immediately respond to emailed questions on the UAE’s plans to provide treatment and host the Palestinians. Israel’s embassy in Abu Dhabi declined to comment.
WAM reported the Palestinian children would “return home” after they had received medical care.