Last Updated: October 16, 2023, 12:26 IST
Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)
Indian American Presidential candidate Nikki Haley has rebuked the Arab countries, including Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt for not opening their gates for civilians from Gaza who are seeking to flee their homes in the face of an imminent ground invasion from Israel.
Hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents sought to heed Israel’s order to evacuate roughly the northern half of the territory, a week after Hamas launched a deadly assault that has since led to the death of more than 4,000 people on both sides. Israeli forces positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a campaign by air, land and sea to dismantle the Palestinian outfit.
“We should care about the Palestinian citizens, especially the innocent ones, because they didn’t ask for this. But where are the Arab countries? Where are they? Where is Qatar? Where is Lebanon? Where is Jordan? Where is Egypt? Do you know we give Egypt over a billion dollars a year? Why aren’t they opening the gates? Why aren’t they taking the Palestinians?” the GOP White House hopeful told CNN on Sunday.
“You know why? Because they know they can’t vet them, and they don’t want Hamas in their neighbourhood. So why would Israel want them in their neighbourhood? So let’s be honest with what’s going on. The Arab countries aren’t doing anything to help the Palestinians because they don’t trust who is right, who is good, who is evil, and they don’t want it in their country,” she said.
Haley anticipated that these Islamic countries would blame America. “They’re going to come and blame America. They’re going to come and blame Israel. And don’t fall for it, because they have the ability to fix all of this if they wanted to,” Haley said. “But you know what? Qatar is going to continue to work with Hamas and their leadership. Iran is going to continue to fund all of this and not say anything. And who’s silent? Every one of those Arab countries is going to be silent. But expect for the finger to point to Israel, and the finger is going to point to America,” she said.
Haley said Hamas is going to do everything they can to not have them leave, because “they want them all to die”. “One, they want to use them as human shields, but, two, they want to blame Israel and show images of dead children and say, look at what Israel did,” she alleged. “But don’t ever forget what Hamas did. Don’t ever forget those girls running for their life. Don’t ever forget those babies that were killed in cribs. Don’t ever forget the people that they were dragging through the streets. And what were they saying, Jake? They were saying, ‘Death to Israel, death to America’,” she said.
“That’s who we’re dealing with. But I dealt with this at the United Nations. You’re going to hear all of those Arab countries vilify Israel for what’s about to happen. You’re going to hear all of them say, how dare you not do more for the Palestinian people?” said Haley, a former US ambassador to the UN. She said right now, they cannot take their eyes off the terrorists.
“What Hamas did was beyond thuggish, brutal, and sick. What the Iranian regime is doing to help them is terrible. But let’s look back at, what did Biden do. Biden turned around and fell all over himself to get into the Iran deal. Obama did it before that,” she said while referring to the recent US-Iran USD 6 billion prisoner swap deal.
“You gave all of this money. And what did you do? You empowered Iran to go and strengthen Hamas, strengthen Hezbollah, strengthen the Houthis to spread their terrorist activity. We went and strengthened those sanctions and decimated Iran’s economy. And what happened? Biden has loosened the sanctions,” she said.
Speaking about the hostage situation in Gaza where 120 are believed to be held captive, Haley said, “Now we have got the fact that he gave USD 6 billion in hostage money (to Iran). OK, now you have frozen it, but we have all these American hostages. Guess what they’re going to want? If you gave them USD 6 billion for five people and released hostages, guess what they’re going to be asking for all these others?”
(With PTI inputs)