November 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

UAE Building Field Hospital in the Gaza Strip 

November 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

UAE Building Field Hospital in the Gaza Strip 

Latest Developments 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is building a field hospital in the Gaza Strip, sending a total of 16 cargo planes full of supplies, equipment, and building material to Egypt as of November 9. The 150-bed hospital will include numerous departments, including general surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, and gynecology as well as anesthesia and intensive care units for adults and children. It will also have dentistry, psychiatry, family medicine, and internal medicine clinics.  

Expert Analysis 

“This is the first Arab project in the Gaza Strip that is independent of Hamas. The hospital would be a good rehearsal for a post-Hamas government in Gaza and its management.” Hussain Abdul-Hussain, FDD Research Fellow 

“There’s an untold story emerging of Israeli-Arab coordination on humanitarian relief and preparations for a post-Hamas Gaza. From Jordanian air drops to Emirati field hospitals, what we see in foreign ministry press releases and television interviews doesn’t match the close coordination happening behind the scenes.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor 

Arab Governments Coordinate Aid with Israel’s Approval 

The UAE’s hospital in Gaza is being built with Israel’s approval, as many injured Palestinian civilians are currently being treated at hospitals located near Hamas terrorist command centers. Egypt, which has been critical of Israel’s response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, has allowed injured Gazans through the Rafah crossing to receive treatment. Egypt is also building a field hospital nine miles from the Gaza border.  

Jordan, which has called for a ceasefire and recalled its ambassador from Israel, coordinated with Israeli forces to airdrop urgent medical equipment to an already established Jordanian field hospital in the Gaza Strip.

UAE Condemns Both Hamas and Israel 

On October 8, the UAE Foreign Ministry called Hamas’s attack the day before a “serious and grave escalation.” On October 9, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed expressed solidarity with Israel in a phone conversation with former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. 

However, Abu Dhabi subsequently criticized Israel’s operation against Hamas in Gaza. On October 29, the UAE Foreign Ministry called it “an Israeli military escalation and exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis that threatens more loss of civilian lives.” On October 29, the UAE also called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to seek a binding resolution demanding that Israel agree to a humanitarian pause.  

Still, the new hospital may serve as a test case for the role that the UAE and other Arab states could play in rebuilding Gaza after the war is over.  

Blinken to Visit Israel and Jordan as Iran-Backed Groups Threaten Regional War,” FDD Flash Brief  

Egypt and Jordan Condemn Israeli Response to Hamas Massacre,” FDD Flash Brief 

Egypt, Jordan, and Other Arab Governments Reject Gazan Refugees,” FDD Flash Brief 


Arab Politics Gulf States Israel Israel at War