Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Sunday that he had a telephone conversation with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed the release of hostages held by Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
"A constructive conversation with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. I emphasized the importance that Israel attributes to our relations with the UAE. I said that Israel is committed to bringing back all the hostages and defeating the terror organization Hamas," Katz said on X.
The parties also agreed to continue working together to strengthen bilateral relations between the two states and ensure security in the region, the foreign minister added.
On October 7, 2023, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip, while its fighters breached the border, opening fire on the military and civilians. As a result, over 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza and launched a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 23,800 people have been killed so far in Gaza as a result of Israeli strikes, local authorities said.
On November 24, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire was extended several times and expired on December 1.