According to various sources, MbZ, during a call with Netanyahu regarding unemployment benefits for Palestinian laborers, told him to ask Zelensky for money.
In a recent phone call, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Emirati President Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) to provide unemployment benefits to Palestinian laborers in the occupied West Bank. Instead, MbZ told his ally to “ask Zelensky” for money, according to knowledgeable sources who spoke with Axios.
Since the Palestinian resistance’s historic attack on southern settlements in Gaza on October 7, Tel Aviv has closed off the occupied West Bank and prohibited roughly 150,000 Palestinian laborers from entering Israel.
Growing concerns that the Palestinian economy’s decline might escalate the violence in the West Bank led to calls for Netanyahu to put the question of providing jobless stipends to a vote in the security cabinet from the defense ministry and Shin Bet. Rather, he went to his Abu Dhabi allies.
The Jordanian royal office released a statement stating that the King of Jordan, King Abdullah II, warned Blinken of the catastrophic repercussions of the Gaza War during their recent meeting.
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The sources tell Axios that Netanyahu “broadly asked for help in regards to the Palestinians” during a phone conversation with MbZ a few weeks ago. But once the Israeli premier “exactly asked if the UAE would be willing to pay the Palestinian workers,” the conversation deteriorated, leaving the UAE leader “stunned.”
“MbZ told Netanyahu he couldn’t do it, and then sarcastically suggested the Israeli prime minister turn to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instead,” the sources said, adding that the Emirati leader remarked that “Zelensky gets a lot of money from many countries, so maybe he would be able to help.”
An Emirati official told Axios that “the notion that Arab countries will come in to rebuild and pay the bill for what’s currently happening is wishful thinking.”
Netanyahu allegedly assured Knesset officials in mid-December that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would pay for Gaza’s reconstruction.
“The first step in Gaza will be to defeat Hamas. After that, I believe that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will support the rehabilitation of the Strip,” Netanyahu said during a closed-door testimony to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Israeli media echoed these assertions on Tuesday, stating that US officials hoping to resurrect an agreement on normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel think doing so will ensure Saudi money for “rebuilding Gaza.”