Arab and Muslim nations have predictably expressed support for the Palestinian people in Gaza since the beginning of the war on Oct. 7.
They were also quick to accept and repeat the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza that claimed Israel struck the al-Ahli al-Mahdi Hospital, resulting in 500 deaths, just moments after the explosion happened and before any facts could be verified.
Over the years, Arab and Muslim nations have consistently upheld the “Palestinian Cause” as a reason for refusing to normalize ties with Israel.
Several of those countries have regularly contributed money to Palestinians in Gaza, although not always with a guarantee that the assistance would reach civilians rather than the Hamas military wing.
Now, with the Gaza refugee situation reaching the point of a crisis ahead of an anticipated Israeli ground campaign into the city, those same countries have been silent about receiving refugees from Gaza.
With the exception of Jordan and Egypt, which have adamantly stated their refusal to accept any Gazan refugees, there has been little talk from other Muslim and Arab countries in the Gulf region about taking in the refugees.
In a recent opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer argue that the countries that have done the most to enable Hamas should take on the burden of the Gaza refugees as a direct consequence of that support.
“Civilians are seeking to flee in advance of the fighting, and we shouldn’t expect Israel to take them in,” the writers stated. According to them, while Egypt is the only other nation that borders Gaza besides Israel, Egypt should not be expected to receive the refugees.
“Egypt doesn’t need to be the final destination for Palestinians looking to escape,” they wrote.
“Nations that have normalized relations with Israel – such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco – and those that could in the future, like Saudi Arabia, might then discuss a novel solution: urging Hamas’s sponsors and enablers to take responsibility.”
In fact, besides Iran, the two countries that have offered the most material support to Hamas are Turkey and Qatar.
Both nations currently play host to Hamas leaders and house operational headquarters for the terror group, including the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
The countries of Malaysia, Kuwait and Algeria have also supported Hamas.
The WSJ article suggests that those are the nations that should be expected to host Gazan refugees as a natural consequence of enabling the crisis.
“Iran, Qatar, Turkey, Malaysia, Kuwait, and Algeria have cynically boosted Palestinian jihadists for decades, which has brought misery and destruction not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq – anywhere terror proxies operate. Each of these countries should be called on to take ownership of its terrible decisions,” Dubowitz wrote.
Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Advisor Richard Goldberg said the issue is about the inaction of Arab governments.
“The hypocrisy of Arab governments who criticize Israel and empower Hamas is on full display for the world to see. Why is it that Israel cares more about saving Palestinian lives than the entire Arab world?” Goldberg wrote.
On Wednesday morning, after Israel provided significant evidence that the Gaza hospital explosion was the result of a misfire by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror groups in Gaza, and not the IDF, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi announced that the summit – which would have brought Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas together with U.S. President Joe Biden had been canceled.
The Gaza refugee situation remains unsolved at the time of publication.