Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed offers UAE's assistance to find lasting peace between Israel and Palestine

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi supports Egypt's efforts to end 11-day conflict

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - December 26, 2016: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, bids farewell to guests during a Sea Palace barza. 
( Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )
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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, welcomed the ceasefire in Gaza and said the UAE was willing to play a role in helping to maintain lasting peace.

In a call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Sheikh Mohamed said he supported Egypt’s efforts to broker a deal to end the 11-day conflict last Friday.

He emphasised "the need for additional efforts, especially by Israeli and Palestinian leaders, stressing that the UAE is ready to work with all parties to maintain the ceasefire and explore new paths to reduce escalation and achieve peace", state news agency Wam reported.

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, died in Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Another 1,910 people were wounded, it said. Israel claims Hamas was the target of the raids.

Twelve people were killed in Israel, including a soldier, a boy aged 5, and a girl, 16, as militants in Gaza launched rockets across the border.

The UAE ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh, expressed the country’s condolences to the families of those killed.

Ms Nusseibeh said the events of the past two weeks had been a sombre reminder of the urgent need for a peaceful dialogue aimed at a long-term solution to end the conflict.

"The violence of the past two weeks and the growing number of civilian casualties indicate that we must redouble international efforts to find a just, comprehensive and lasting peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue, consistent with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,” she told the UN assembly.

Ms Nusseibeh called for Israel to comply with its obligations to Palestinians under international humanitarian and human rights laws, and with all relevant UN resolutions.

She said Israel must protect civilians, immediately stop building settlements and demolishing Palestinian property in occupied territory, and halt the forcible displacement of Palestinians.

Ms Nusseibeh reaffirmed Sheikh Mohamed’s statement on the UAE’s readiness to support all regional and international efforts to advance the Middle East peace process.

"The UAE will continue to work with our regional and international partners to achieve a better future for Palestinian, Arab, and Israeli generations who deserve to live in safety and dignity in a stable and prosperous region," she said.

"This cannot simply be the latest round of violence; it must be the last. This conflict and these cycles of violence have endured for too long and can only be stopped by achieving real and lasting peace.

“The youth of our region, on all sides, cannot and must not be condemned to unending hatred out of a failure to recognise that the far braver stance would be to chart a course to peace."